Sweet Suite 2016

NPD Analyst: Retailers Scrambling to Recover Lost Sales

Marshall Cohen, chief industry analyst of The NPD Group, initially expected that the holiday 2010 season would “be remembered as a good year, not a great one.”
“To be great,” said Cohen right before Christmas, “the consumer would have to be in a frenzy and retailers would still be stocked with plenty of product to go around.” According to Cohen, retailers practiced the theory that it is better to sell out than to have leftovers.
On Monday, Cohen revised his outlook saying: “Holiday 2010 just went from a truly Merry Christmas for retailers to a lost weekend with retailers scrambling to recover lost sales.” Cohen called the post-Christmas weekend “brutal,” citing an already shortened post-holiday shopping weekend due to the holiday falling on a Saturday and the Sunday snowstorm in the Midwest and Northeast.
“All-in-all, retailers will lose about 0.5 [percent] of sales with the loss of this big post-Christmas day. And by the time they make it up, the sales will fall out of the range of the ‘holiday numbers’,” Cohen said. “Consumers will now have to wait longer to use those gift cards and make their returns. This is an important part of the sales in that consumers tend to spend approximately an additional 16 percent above the face value of gift cards and returns.”

Giantmicrobes Introduces Food Poisoning Plush, More for the Holidays

Ever wondered what food poisoning would look like in plush form? Well wonder no more, Giantmicrobes, Inc.—designers of collectible toys inspired by the microscopic world—is releasing new editions to its educational toy line.

The new products, like all Giantmicrobes products, includes the toy modeled on electron micrographs, enlarged a million times, and includes the micrograph image as well as information about the microbe it represents. The collection spans more than 100 microbes, including Common Cold, Brain Cells, Bed Bugs, and more.

On November 5, the company released Food Poisoning and Diarrhea, as well as Nibble the Bed Bug vinyl figure. Each vinyl figure comes with an animation flipbook and an action-pose sticker.

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Ubisoft Unveils Holiday Season Releases

Interactive entertainment company Ubisoft is releasing several additions to its existing series of games, in addition to introducing new games this holiday season across media platforms.

Battle Tag

Ubisoft introduces a laser tag-inspired game: Battle Tag. Set for release in late November in North America, the game is designed with 20 different game plays, and includes a port that connects to a PC, allowing the computer to act as “game master.”

Players use guns that are complete with RFID technology to store information. The guns have a 300 meter radius from the port, which acts as a base for the game. Sets come with ammo packs and medic packs that recharge ammo and life points when connected to the guns. Additional guns, bases, ammo, and medic packs will be available for purchase in addition to the basic set.

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Toys “R” Us Drafts Shaq for Toys for Tots Campaign


Toys “R” Us has teamed up with NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal for the annual Toys for Tots Campaign. The fundraising campaign for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation begins October 22 in Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores nationwide, as well as at Toysrus.com/ToysforTots.

Earning the name “Shaq-A-Claus,” the basketball player will make surprise visits to Toys “R” Us stores in the coming months to shop for needy children and encourage customers to give back. For nine weeks, through December 6, new, unwrapped toys will be collected at the company’s stores. The collected toys will be distributed to children in the community where they were donated. Monetary donations will also be accepted.
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Toys “R” Us Debuts Holiday Layaway Program

Toys “R” Us, Inc. is introducing a new in-store layaway program, “Big Gift” Layaway. Through the program, customers at Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores may reserve toys, such as bikes and play kitchens, early in the season and make a series of small payments over an extended time.

Kids products that are a part of the Big Gift Layaway program include bikes, ride-on vehicles, dollhouses, play kitchens, outdoor play equipment and playsets, pools and water slides, basketball systems, karaoke machines, musical instruments, televisions, and indoor table games. Baby products included in the program are infant and toddler furniture, car seats, high chairs, play yards, strollers and travel systems, and bassinets.