The news comes just after Toys “R” Us — the battered retailer which previously produced its own holiday catalog— shut down its physical stores last week, following liquidation and bankruptcy. According to Bloomberg, Amazon considered buying some of the old Toys “R” Us locations across the U.S. Toys “R” Us reported $6.5 billion in U.S. sales last year.
Amazon — which is reportedly going to mail the new printed catalog to millions of households — is increasingly bolstering its physical retail presence as historical retailers struggle to compete online. Just this week, GeekWire reported on a new Amazon Go location in downtown Seattle, establishing a footprint for its checkout-free retail concept that uses artificial intelligence and computer vision technologies. It also has been increasingly integrating services into Whole Foods, the grocery chain Amazon purchased for $13.7 billion just thirteen months ago.
Amazon sold an estimated $4 billion worth of toys in 2016, up 24 percent compared to the prior year, according to a report from Fox Business. That outpaced the entire toy market, which was up just five percent.
We’ve reached out to Amazon about the printed catalog, and we’ll update this post when we hear back. The company declined to comment about the report to Bloomberg.
UPDATE: Amazon said they don’t comment on “rumors and speculation.”