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 macys.com 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.

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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.