Sweet Suite 2016

Laser Pegs Donates 1800 Sets to Kids Wish Network

The Kids Wish Network has received a donation of 1800 Laser Pegs kits that will be distributed through the charity’s Holiday of Hope gift-giving programs, reaching children suffering from homelessness, neglect, abuse, or illness. Laser Pegs Ventures hopes this donation will encourage imagination and innovation in children.

Companies that manufactures or distributes toys, gifts, educational products, clothes, games, accessories, or electronics can contact Kids Wish Network’s Distribution Center to contribute to the Kids Wish Network at 727-937-3600.

Same Card, New Tricks: Using Gift Cards to Go Beyond the Basics

First Data LadyBy Euphemia Erikson, First Data

The holiday season is once again approaching, and this year, retailers are not leaving any tactics on the table as they begin strategizing creative ways to boost customer traffic. Starting Black Friday and continuing past Christmas, retailers will turn to door busters, flash sales, deep discounts, and shockingly early store openings to drive their holiday sales higher than years before.

With big picture tactics like these, it’s also important for retailers to remember the power traditional retail tools command when driving revenue up. Gift cards are consumers’ most desired holiday present, and for retailers this classic has the unique ability to drive value far beyond a single purchase. Digital and plastic gift cards, more so than store credit, add a nice edge to retail sales planning by supporting marketing efforts, driving sales, and even engaging new audiences. [Read more...]

NRF Releases Holiday Consumer Spending Survey

nrf1Prosper Insights and Analytics has conducted the National Retail Federation’s Holiday Consumer Spending Survey. The survey surmised that people will spend more this holiday season than in any other during the survey’s 14-year history. Other key facts include: [Read more...]

Toys “R” Us Reports Second Quarter Results, Announces Seasonal Hiring

ToysRUsLogo copyThis past Tuesday, Toys “R” Us Inc. reported financial results for the second quarter ended August 1. For the quarter, Adjusted EBITDA was $122 million, compared to $83 million in the prior year period. In addition, domestic operating performance improved significantly as domestic gross margin rate remained strong. Internationally, the company continued its positive comparable store net sales trend with particular strength in Canada, Central Europe, China, and Southeast Asia.

[Read more...]

Walmart Releases Chosen by Kids List of Top Toys for the Holiday Season

walmartWalmart has released its Chosen by Kids list, which features the top toys of the year as chosen by 1,000 kids. The retailer asked them to choose their favorite toys from among the newest items by Hasbro, Mattel, Spin Master, and Zing. For consumers’ convenience during this upcoming shopping season, the list is organized by gender and age, as well as by the categories Future Foodies, Veterinarians in Training, Dreaming Design Stars, and Adventure-Seekers in the Making.

[Read more...]

Kidz Bop Extends National Tour, with Sponsorship by Build-A-Bear Workshop

KidzBopNationalTourThe Kidz Bop Kids will embark on a national tour this holiday season, and tickets officially go on sale today. The holiday shows were scheduled following the success of the Kidz Bop Kids’ Make Some Noise spring and summer tour.

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COMMENTARY: Let the Games (Surrounding Video Game Console Exclusives) Begin

SSC_Hammer Slam Bowser_FIN_HiResThis past Tuesday started out innocently enough. We were monitoring the news out of Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) when the announcement broke: As part of an agreement between Disney Interactive, Lucasfilm, and Sony, this fall will see the arrival of a special version of the upcoming Disney Infinity 3.0. The limited-edition Star Wars Saga Starter Pack will offer fans the chance to play as Boba Fett, the popular bounty hunter from the Star Wars movies. It will also allow players access to a much-anticipated Disney Infinity Play Set one month before it arrives on shelves, and even more importantly—at least, for the purposes of this commentary—the deal is only available for Sony’s PlayStation system.

[Read more...]

Hasbro Participates in Community Service Projects in 33 Countries Worldwide for Second Global Day of Joy

HasbroGlobalDayHasbro Inc. celebrated its second Global Day of Joy on December 4, a volunteer initiative designed to spread cheer and bring positive change to children in 33 countries. Team Hasbro employees volunteered with more than 100 charitable organizations worldwide to deliver toys and games to children, provide meals for the homeless, renovate playrooms, and host Hasbro Game Day for the event.

Hasbro’s Global Day of Joy is one of the company’s largest global efforts, and this year’s day lasted 27 full business hours from the start of the day in Australia to the close of business in Los Angeles. Service programs from around the world included hand-delivering toys and games to school children; volunteering at an Operation Smile mission in Colombia; character visits to Miami Children’s Hospital; and sorting and packing thousands of toys and games to the organizations Toys for Tots, SeriousFun Children’s Network, and Give Kids the World.

During this year’s holiday season, Hasbro expects to donate more than half a million toys and games to organization benefitting children, valued at $6 million.

Build-A-Bear Workshop, Toys for Tots Join Team Santa for the Holidays

BABW_NewCircleLogoBuild-A-Bear Workshop will launch a national Stuffed with Hugs event November 14 to 16, where guests will be invited to join Team Santa and make a special bear for free to donate to Toys For Tots. The store has supported The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation for the seventh year in a row during the holiday season, donating $7.8 million worth of toys.

Also through December 14, Build-A-Bear Workshop guests can visit any store nationwide to make or donate new, unwrapped toys for local children in need. The company will match each donation up to 20,000 with a Build-A-Bear stuffed animal. Donations can also be made at checkout in stores and online at buildabear.com through December 31.

FedEx and UPS Hiring More Workers to Avoid Holiday Delays

As reported by ABC News, FedEx and United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) are hiring more workers to avoid the delays that plagued last year’s holiday season.

FedEx plans to hire 50,000 seasonal workers, up from 40,000 last year, while UPS will add up to 95,000 people, up from 85,000. Last year, both companies scrambled to hire more seasonal employees than they had planned.

FedEx also expects to invest $1.2 billion in its ground-shipping network in its current fiscal year, with most of that going to increase capacity and automation. The company said that the improvements have sped up ground delivery by a day or more in more than two-thirds of the U.S. UPS has also invested to boost shipping capacity during the holidays.

Last December, the delivery giants were caught off-guard by bad weather and a surge in last-minute online shopping, leading to an estimated 2 million packages arriving late for the holidays.

About 1.3 million express packages handled by UPS and 618,000 carried by FedEx failed to get delivered on time last Christmas Eve, with UPS and FedEx at fault roughly 30 percent of the time, according to ShipMatrix Inc. In most cases, retailers promised guaranteed express delivery, but didn’t pay the delivery companies for that speedier service.

The retail federation’s online division, Shop.org, predicts that online sales in November and December will rise 8 to 11 percent over last year.