Screenshot from a Macy’s x Toys “R” Us Livestream Shopping Event on Facebook | Source: Macy’s

Geoffrey the Giraffe is helping to move some toys in the U.S. again.

While the big return for Toys “R” Us (TRU) is being planned for next year when experiential, TRU-branded toy departments will open in more than 400 Macy’s stores, early results are looking good. During its third quarter earnings call this morning, Macy’s Chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette explained that toys and games are helping to fill the gap on “occasion-based” shopping opportunities that Macy’s has missed in recent years. This is helping to grow foot traffic in Macy’s stores while simultaneously growing the digital and omnichannel business as families shop for birthday and holiday gifts.

“Since bringing the Toys ‘R’ Us business to in August, our toy sales have more than doubled in stores, and online, when compared to 2019,” Gennette says, adding that the partnership is already meeting expectations and starting to gain market share. “The real growth is going to be in 2022 when we create substantially larger shops in 400 of our stores. We’re working with all of our partners right now on all of the content for that — and looking at exclusive content.”

As the company looks ahead, it’s aiming bigger than simply being another outlet to buy toys as it targets millennial parents.

“We do believe we can be the premier brick-and-mortar destination for toys in America,” Gennette says.

Thus far, the Macy’s x TRU pairing has ushered in the return of the annual toy catalog and Geoffrey’s Hot Toy List in addition to new initiatives such as livestream shopping events. An increased assortment of toys can already be found in many Macy’s stores, including its Herald Square flagship in New York City.

Related: Toys “R” Us Canada Owner Doug Putman Talks, Toys, Retail, Distribution on the Power Kid Podcast

Additionally, Macy’s toy partnerships continue on Nov. 25 when a balloon inspired by Funko’s Star Wars: The Mandalorian Grogu (Baby Yoda) takes flight in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. An exclusive range of tie-in merchandise will be sold at Macy’s to mark the occasion.

In Q3, Macy’s returned to running comps against its 2019 business rather than the pandemic-altered 2020 operations. Q3 comparable sales jumped 37.2% on an owned basis as the retailer welcomed more than 4.4 million new customers to its brand.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.