Target Takes Aim At Holiday Toy Sales With Disney Shops Expansion, Exclusive Deals

Targe TGT t is playing to win in the holiday toys game this year, and has stepped up its offerings in the toy aisle in preparation for the Christmas shopping season.

The retailer announced today that it will have over 160 Disney DIS shops inside its stores by the end of 2021, tripling the number of Disney shops currently. It also announced exclusive deals to sell toys from top brands including Lego, L.O.L. Surprise!, Disney, and Melissa & Doug.

Retailers – first the department stores, then mass merchants like Target and Walmart WMT – have long used toys to lure parents into their stores for holiday shopping. The strategy was to get parents into your store in search of a hot toy, and then convince them to do the rest of their Christmas shopping as well.

Now, toys are a way to draw shoppers to your website, where, hopefully, they will do some additional online shopping.

Macy’s M , in its earnings call last week announced a partnership with the company that owns the Toys R Us brand in this country to carry exclusive Toys R Us products on the Macy’s website, starting now, and to open 400 Toys R Us shops in Macy’s stores next year.

After the demise of the U.S. Toys R Us stores in 2018, Target moved quickly to expand its toy presence, and it is seen as the retailer that has done the most to capitalize on the opportunity created by the Toys R Us store closings. It has locked down key exclusives and now appears to be the top choice of many toy manufacturers for toy exclusives, a position previously held by Toys R Us.

During the pandemic, as U.S. toy sales jumped by double-digits, Target reaped the rewards of that strategy. Target’s Chief Growth Officer, Christina Hennington, commented in an August 18 earnings call that toys sales were up more than 20%, year over year, during the second quarter.

“We’re seeing more guests shop for toys at Target than ever before,” Nik Nayar, senior vice president of Hardlines, Target, said in announcing the holiday expansion. Target has over 1,300 exclusive toys and games, according to Nayar.

Disney Shops popular

The Disney shops, which Target launched in 25 of its stores in the fall of 2019, have proven to be a major hit, according to Target. The initial shops featured 450 items, more than 100 of which previously only could be found at Disney retail stores.

Target, for the second year, is also partnering with FAO Schwarz to offer an exclusive collection of 70 toys. Eighty-five percent of the FAO Schwarz items are new this year, according to Target.

Target also released its Bullseyes’ Top Toys list. The list of 50 toys expected to be bestsellers includes 22 toys that are exclusives at Target. Among those are the Disney property Raya and the Last Dragon Land of Kumandra playset and a Lego Star Wars The Armorer’s Mandalorian Forge.

Holiday toy shopping is expected to start earlier than ever this year, due to expected shortages stemming from shipping and supply chain issues.