Sweet Suite 2016

Activision to Sell Limited Edition Dog Tags to Benefit the Call of Duty Endowment

It’s time to get tagged! Activision Publishing, Inc. has announced the sale of limited edition dog tags that will benefit the Call of Duty Endowment, a non-profit that helps veterans find jobs by assisting organizations that provide job placement and training services for veterans.

The dog tags will be available throughout the holiday season in more than 12,000 stores across the country including GameStop, Walmart, Toys “R” Us, Best Buy, and Target.

Customers will find the dog tags in dedicated Call of Duty sections and counter displays. Activision will be donating proceeds from the sales of the dog tags to the Call of Duty Endowment.

NRF to Welcome Walmart President, CEO as Keynote at Retail’s BIG Show 2013

The National Retail Federation has announced that Bill Simon, president and chief executive officer of Walmart U.S. will keynote Retail’s BIG Show, held from January 13 to 16 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City. Simon’s keynote, titled “A Job to Do: Retail’s Role in an American Renewal,” is scheduled for Tuesday, January 15 at 8:30 a.m.

In his keynote address, Simon will make the case that leadership from within the retail industry is needed now more than ever when it comes to issues like the economy and job creation.

Retail’s Big Show and Expo serve as the world’s leading retail event, bringing 25,500 retail executives and vendors from more than 75 countries together for educational and networking opportunities. The convention has been ranked as one of the Top 200 events in North America, as well as one of the 50 fastest-growing events. Other speakers will include executives from Coca Cola, Belk, Sony, and Deloitte.

Ingenuity Releases First Washable Playard

Life just got a little easier thanks to the latest innovation from InGenuity. Disney Baby The Lion King Premier Washable Playard is the first full-size playard made of fabrics that easily zip off in approximately a minute for machine washing. This playard provides a hassle-free way to wash away germs, allergens, bacteria and dirt, answering moms’ need for a playard that can be kept as fresh as the rest of baby’s bedding.

Emphasizing cleanliness, convenience, and adjustability, the washable playard, provides the most comfortable environment for baby with modern benefits for mom. Loaded with great features like the One Less Step folding system that allows for easy portability, mom can fold and take this on the go without removing the playard’s bassinet. The elevated changing table  pivots out of the way when not in use. The organizer tray and fabric toy bar with two plush toys are also removable.

Other key features include a unique bassinet design with adjustable mattress and range of incline for baby’s comfort; sleek fabric styling designed to complement modern home décor; and the Soothing Sounds Station that plays melodies and nature sounds to calm and comfort baby.

The Lion King Premier Washable Playard is available now at Babies”R”Us. Other Ingenuity products, including the Java Jungle Collection, Coco Cafe Collection, Sumner Collection, and the Shiloh Collection, are available at Target, Walmart, and Buy Buy Baby. To learn more, visit www.ingenuitybaby.com.

VTech To Launch Educational Online Games

VTech Electronics North America LLC will launch an online program that combines gaming technology with VTech’s learning products for children ages 3 to 9 years. VTech University is a curriculum that will help children with their reading, math, and science skills. Upon completion of the curriculum, children can be entered for a chance to win a $25,000 college bond by May 31. In order to register for the curriculum, a child must have one of VTech’s learning products, such as Inno Tab, Inno Tab 2, MobiGo2, or the Inno Tab 2S. The Tab can be purchased at Amazon, Target, Toys “R” Us, Walmart, and VTech Kids. Enrollment in the program will allow for a free download of the curriculum. An Honors program is also available for purchase. For download information, visit www.TechKids.com/download.

Walmart Unveils Top Toy List

Walmart announced its Top 20 Toy List, featuring FURBYS, LeapPads, Novi Stars Dolls, and 17 other toys bound to be on kids’ wish lists. Walmart’s Top Toys are available now at Walmart stores in time for the retailer’s layaway program, launching this Sunday. Customers who like their local Walmart store’s Facebook page can begin using layaway today.

If a customer puts a toy on layaway and Walmart rolls back the price later in the season, Walmart will honor the rolled-back price if it is in effect at the time of final payment. Walmart will also match competitor pricing during checkout for layaway products through its ad match policy. Customers will be able to pick up their toys once they complete their layaway payments. Once completed, customers will receive a full refund of the $5 layaway open fee on a Walmart gift card.

Walmart’s Top 20 Toys List is available at Walmart stores and Walmart.com.

Sales Tax Legislation Affecting Online Retailers Could Pass Later this Year

Sales tax legislation that would eliminate the perceived competitive advantage that online sellers have had over traditional brick-and-mortar retailers could pass Congress by the close of this year.

The Senate’s Marketplace Fairness Act (S.1832) and its House companion, the Marketplace Equity Act (H.R. 3179), aim to give states the authority to collect sales tax from online and catalog retailers (i.e. “remote” sellers), provided that states simplify their tax codes to make it easier for retailers to collect sales tax at the time of transaction.

Since the 1992 Supreme Court ruling Quill v. North Dakota, states have not been able to require retailers to collect sales tax unless the seller has a physical presence in the state. Under the Marketplace Fairness and Marketplace Equity Acts, states seeking the authority to collect sales tax from remote retailers can sign onto the SSUTA or adopt the simplification mandates included in the bill.

The legislation has received strong bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate, as well as widespread support from 55 national trade associations, 95 state and local trade associations, and 85 companies, including online retailers Amazon.com, Buy.com, Walmart, and Sears Holdings Corp.  Critics–including the Electronic Retailing Association and a coalition of e-commerce and online companies–argue that the bill would allow states to impose a new tax that would be burdensome on e-commerce and consumers due to variations between tax jurisdictions.  They argue that the simplification of state tax laws called for in the bill will not alleviate burdens nor will the potential tax revenue stream (estimated at well below one percent of total state and local tax revenue) justify the expense of implementation.

Because e-commerce retailers do not collect sales tax, the price of a product purchased online is often cheaper than the price of the same product at a brick-and-mortar store.  This disparity impacts both retailers and their vendors as buyers for a physical store try to remain price competitive by requesting vendors to lower their price for the product.

This post was originally written by the Toy Industry Association and published at ToyAssociation.org. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Walmart to Launch Diary of a Wimpy Kid Exclusive Retail Campaign

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise is anything but wimpy. In preparation for the release of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days on August 3, Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products will launch a national retail campaign with Walmart, making the world’s largest retailer a One Stop Wimpy Shop. Beginning July 31, more than 2,500 stores nationwide will carry a full range of products including exclusive merchandise that can only be purchased at Walmart. The program will remain in stores through August 28.

As the third installment of the film arrives in theaters, Walmart will carry all of the books in Jeff Kinney’s best-selling series, board games, and DVDs. Walmart will also feature several exclusive products, including a Wimpy Kid Mini Prank Kit, from Cardinal Industries, containing a whoopee cushion, moldy cheese, and flies in ice, all packaged in a collectible tin; a line of book accessories, including bookmarks and book lights from Andrews + Blaine and Trends International; and a two-pack DVD set featuring the films Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules.

The One Stop Wimpy Shop will offer an updated book, The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary: How Greg Heffley Went Hollywood, that chronicles how each of the three movies in the franchise were made. The book includes behind-the-scenes photos, fun facts, and a free limited-edition movie poster.

This post was originally written by Sierra McCleary-Harris and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Ickee Stikeez Now Available at Walmart and Walgreens

Ickee Stikeez, from Zing Toys, are squishy, monster-themed collectibles with suction cups that stick to flat surfaces. Ickeez stick to any flat surface, such as lockers, lunchboxes, windows, and cell phones. When pulled-off, the Ickeez make a loud “pop!” Characters come in “Podz” that are reminiscent of vending machine capsules, which also have built-in play. Kids can connect them to create various different structures and environments for their Ickee Stikeez characters. Each pack has a number, which can be entered on www.ickeez.com for additional content, back story, wallpaper, and short videos.
Ickeez Series 1 is now available at select Walmart locations and Walgreens. Ickee Stikeez Series 2 will be in all Walmart stores this holiday season. There are 24 total characters in Series 1. They are sold in three-pack blisters retailing for $2.99 each.

Report: Target Has the Best Social Media Presence Among Retailers

According to a new survey by L.E.K. Consulting, as reported by Internet Retailer, Target Corp. has the best social media presence among retailers. Target took the top spot with 8.5 percent, followed by Amazon.com (8 percent), Walmart (5.4 percent), Best Buy (4 percent), and Macy’s (4 percent). L.E.K surveyed 2,000 U.S. consumers, but did not say when the survey took place or define what constituted a strong social media presence.

[Read more...]

Walmart Kicks-off Black Friday Events Starting at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving

Walmart has released its Black Friday circular to shoppers on Facebook and Walmart.com to help families plan their holiday shopping. Items from electronics to gaming consoles and toys will be available during three shopping events.

Walmart’s Black Friday events will be held at the following times:

  • 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 24) –Toys, Home, and Apparel
  • Midnight on Black Friday (Nov. 25) – Electronics
  • 8 a.m. Nov. 25 through the weekend – Gifts for the entire family

“Our customers told us they would rather stay up late to shop than get up early, so we’re going to hold special events on Thanksgiving and Black Friday,” says Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising officer, Walmart U.S. “By sharing our Black Friday specials earlier than ever, we hope to make buying decisions easier for parents working hard to give their families the Christmas they deserve.”

In addition, all day long on Thanksgiving, shoppers can get online-only specials and save with free shipping options.

Walmart is also helping shoppers plan their in-store shopping strategy by making available store-specific maps on Facebook. To access the map, shoppers need to find their favorite store by clicking on the “My Local Walmart” application on Walmart’s Facebook page.

Walmart also promises to match the price of any local competitor’s printed ad for an identical product, including matching competitor’s deals for the day after Thanksgiving.