Toys “R” Us Aims Towards China’s ‘Tiger Moms’

With the recent rush of online shoppers trying to get Singles’ Day deals and claims of the continuing need for economic growth, Toys “R” Us has announced it will launch an e-commerce site in China. Toys “R” Us seems to be following suit with other companies by expanding into China. Among these companies, car manufacturers have geared their designs towards Chinese preferences, and J.Crew has attempted to expand into China through Hong Kong, from AP:

The privately held toy store operator also said it will develop mobile-friendly Web sites and apps in 11 markets around the world; including Australia, Canada, France and other countries.

Companies across all industries have focused on expanding in the fast growing so-called BRIC markets — Brazil, Russia, India and China — as growth in developed markets slow.

In October, 2011, Toys R Us bought back the majority stake of its business in Greater China and Southeast Asia from Fung Retailing. In August, it opened two stores in Beijing, and currently operates 30 stores across 21 cities in China.

Earlier this month, Toys R Us also announced international shipping is available in more than 60 countries.

As part of its business plan in China, Toys “R” Us will also aim towards China’s ‘tiger moms’. Other companies, such as Nestle, have also aimed towards Chinese mothers as China’s baby market has been lucrative in recent years. The Wall Street Journal reports:

To ply a market where many parents would sooner buy their children books than Barbies, the retailer is stocking up on toy microscopes, building blocks and other educational toys to win Chinese parents over.

Toys “R” Us executives say they will emphasize educational toys in an effort to win over the fiercest of strict “tiger mothers.” About 35% of sales in existing stores in China are tied to education, compared with 21% in the U.S., Mr. Storch said.

“We’ve been learning from other retailers—successful and unsuccessful—and we have a strong plan in place,” said Mr. Storch, noting that Toys “R” Us is also localizing its merchandise, carrying toys and brands targeted to Chinese consumers, such as the TV and movie characters Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf.

Mr. Storch said Toys “R” Us is adapting to local culture. It plans to open smaller stories of about 10,000 square feet—about a quarter of the size of many of its U.S. stores—that will fit in shopping malls, which are popular with Chinese spenders.



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