Wal-Mart to have fewer toys in cleanup campaign


Wal-Mart is reducing its toy space by more than half and making other changes in a "fast, friendly, clean" concept intended to attract shoppers shun the retail giant because its stores are cluttered.

By dropping its toy loss-leader strategy and focusing on a more consumer-friendly store layout, Wal-Mart looks to be moving toward high-growth opportunities, according to Toy Directory Online, a trade magazine for the toy, hobby, game and gift industry.

While the major toy brands will still be available at Wal-Mart, there will be fewer toys overall and smaller toy makers will likely be pushed out.

The changes started April 20, with plans to roll it out over less than a quarter of Wal-Mart's U.S. stores by this summer. After gauging consumer reaction and implementing any tweaks, the "fast, friendly, clean" plan to be moved to all of its remaining stores.

It sounds like makeovers that Target and Kmart have done to attract shoppers who want a better quality shopping experience.

Along with less toy shelf space, the plan includes less space for crafts products, phasing out fabrics from all stores that still carry the department, and moving crafts to a less traffic-intensive area such as to the lawn and garden area.

Aisles will be wider and displays at the ends of aisles will be less bulky. This may sound like a small complaint, but I was at a Kmart the other day and what keeps me from shopping there more are the narrow aisles and clutter I have to push the cart around to get anywhere.

There are plenty of places to buy toys, and a lot less clutter should make Wal-Mart a better place to shop.