Not All Fun and Games: Mobile Data Reveals Further Insight into Who will Take Over the Toy Biz

When Toys R Us announced that it was closing all of its 800 U.S. locations back in March, we conducted an analysis revealing what brands Toys R Us consumers are more or less likely to visit in order to predict where they’d shop once the big box retailer closed for good. We focused on retail giants Target and Walmart, and found that Toys R Us shoppers were 1.7x more likely to visit Target over Walmart.

With the news that Toys R Us is closing at the end of this week, a wild card has emerged: Party City. The party supply retailer has announced that it will open 50 temporary ‘Toy City’ pop-ups across the U.S. in an attempt to capture holiday toy shoppers (cue a collective sigh of relief from shopping centers looking to fill the retail spaces Toys R Us is leaving behind).

Toy City: Will Toys R Us Shoppers Make The Move?

First we looked looked at the demographic profiles of Toys R Us and Party City shoppers by analyzing mobile location data across our platform. Overwhelmingly we found that their demographic profiles are astoundingly similar.

We found that shoppers that visit both retailers have similar ethnicities, ages, incomes and education levels. In an article by RetailDive highlighting our demographic research, this potentially reveals that “Party City might be uniquely positioned to pick up some toy sales as Toys R Us winds down.”

An interesting aspect of our research revolves around the likelihood that Toys R Us and Party City shoppers will visit other retailers when compared to the Average American consumer. Much like the similarities we found in demographic profiles between the two, their consumers share similar shopping patterns. Consistent with our earlier analysis, we found that both groups of consumers are likely to visit big box retailers, and that there is very little difference between those likelihoods.  

  • Toys R Us shoppers are 7% more likely to visit BJ’s Wholesale than Party City shoppers
  • Party City shoppers are 10% more likely to visit Target than Toys R Us shoppers
  • Party City shoppers are 15% more likely to visit Costco than Toys R Us shoppers
  • Toys R Us shoppers are 6% more likely to visit Sam’s Club than Party City shoppers
  • Toys R Us shoppers are 9% more likely to visit WalMart than Party City shoppers

Unsurprisingly, both groups of consumers are more likely to also visit kids retailers like Once Upon A Child, Buy Buy Baby, and the Disney Store. A key difference that surprised us, however, was that Party City shoppers are slightly more likely to visit the majority of kids retailers when compared to Toys R Us shoppers. If Party City shoppers already tend to shop for children’s items, perhaps the party supplier retailer is already primed to take over a major portion of Toys R Us’ market share.

  • Party City shoppers are 23% more likely to also visit Once Upon A Child than Toys R Us shoppers
  • Party City shoppers are 12% more likely to also visit Carters than Toys R Us shoppers
  • Party City shoppers are 16% more likely to also visit Buy Buy Baby than Toys R Us shoppers
  • Toys R Us shoppers are 37% more likely to also visit Build A Bar than Party City shoppers
  • Party City shoppers are 26% more likely to also visit the Disney Store than Toys R Us shoppers

Right Place, Right Time, Right Consumer

Party City, a retailer whose shoppers typically match the demographic and behavioral profiles of Toys R Us shoppers, is in an interesting (and seemingly lucrative) position to be a major player in the 2018 holiday shopping season.

Want to read more about our original analysis? Check out Gladys Kong’s article for CIO: Toys ‘R’ Us shopper data insights can give toy makers and retailers an advantage

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