Retailers are fighting hard this Christmas to beat the competition, and Target is the latest to unveil its plan to win over the holiday hordes: Go digital.
Come Oct. 14, the chain will begin prominently showcasing its Top 20 toys in its brick-and mortar stores. Each will be equipped with a QR code, which customers can scan with a mobile device to purchase and have shipped for free to any location in the U.S.
Using the squiggly matrix barcodes gives Target a few advantages: It helps attract moms, who can surreptitiously buy gifts even while shopping with their kids. It allows customers to buy from Target even when the physical product isn't available in stores.
And it makes Target seem digitally savvy, a reputation the company is pushing hard this season.
The chain is also launching a Digital Wish List online, which can be shared via email. Its dedicate website for toys will feature 10,000 items, searchable by age, gender, brand or character. More than 300 will be exclusive products from Barbie, Fisher Price and more.
A physical catalog with 200 toys will be shipped to customers in early November.
By expanding the ways that shoppers can access popular toys such as Just Play Bounce Bounce Tigger and Hasbro Beyblade: Metal Fury Destroyer Dome, Target is setting itself up as a viable competitor to online rivals such as Amazon.com and larger chains such as Wal-Mart.
Several major retailers have recently announced holiday initiatives, including seasonal hiring plans from Kohl's and an extended layaway program from Wal-Mart. Target said it will tamp down its holiday employees from 92,000 last winter.