Although people cut back on buying apparel this spring at Macy's (M - Get Report) stores in the U.S., Gap (GPS - Get Report) stores overseas -- and most other retailers, it seemed -- apparently shoppers couldn't resist picking up an innovative new toy for little Johnny or Jenny.
The latest results from Toys "R" Us likely also reflect its own efforts to compete more effectively against its larger rivals in the toy business, such as Walmart (WMT - Get Report) and Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) . Those megastores have driven down toy prices and pressured Toys "R" Us's sales and profits in recent years. Toys "R" Us has increased floor space for interactive toys such as flying drones, worked closely with vendors to secure product exclusives and boosted the number of private label offerings in order to differentiate its stores from online foes.
Said Brandon, "I think the biggest asset we have that they [Walmart and Amazon] don't have is we are in the toy business 365 days a year. Fundamentally, they are not -- at least they aren't serious about it until the last 10 weeks of the year -- and our vendors know it."