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Toy Sellers Focus on Vid Basics

21 Feb, 2003 By: Jessica Wolf

When it comes to merchandising video at toy stores, it seems stocking the staples is more important than making sure the newest releases are available on street date.

Of three Costa Mesa, Calif., toy retailers visited last week, only the Toys ‘R' Us location had a ready supply of the week's biggest family/kidvid release, Spy Kids 2, on VHS and DVD available the day of street. The DVD selection at this location boasted a surprising blend of titles, with movies like Shallow Hal, Top Gun, Behind Enemy Lines, Mr. Deeds and Sweet Home Alabama stocked alongside animated releases, Disney classics and kidvid favorites. This store's VHS section is separate from, and bigger than, the DVD area, and includes built-in TV screens for in-store viewing, though the selection had fewer crossover titles.

At a nearby KB Toys location, the small six-video section situated next to the front register titled “Family Movie Favorites” was something of a misnomer. No feature films were stocked here and no DVD was in sight, though there were plenty of selections from the “Bob the Builder,” “Mary Kate and Ashley” and “Caillou” lines. A clerk said other locations carry more video selection and DVD.

A Zany Brainy location revealed the most diverse merchandising strategies, with a special DVD display set up by the registers, two full rows of VHS shelves, a “Thomas the Tank Engine” display stocked with VHS and toys in the middle of the store, and a Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone VHS endcap located near games and activities for older kids.

All three locations keep tight controls on game stock. Toys ‘R' Us uses a separate security-barrier-protected section of the store, and the other two locations keep games in locked glass cases.

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