BOISE, Idaho -- After a successful test at Jewel-Osco last year, Albertsons here will expand chainwide its partnership with Toys R Us, Paramus, N.J., the company said last week.
According to Karianne Cole, spokeswoman for Albertsons, the multi-year contract will add convenience and service, and further capitalize on the toy company's expertise in merchandising.
The toy sections will roll out in all of Albertsons' 2,300 stores, including the Jewel-Osco, Acme, Albertsons-Osco, Albertsons-Sav On, Sav-On Drugs, Osco Drug, Super Saver and Albertsons banners.
Albertsons will introduce the toy concept in two phases, Cole noted. In time for the holidays, about half of Albertsons' stores will have a toy section similar to the Toy Box aisles tested at six Jewel-Osco stores last November. The remainder of the stores will be set by mid-2004.
Toys R Us will have both permanent branded and non-branded in-line departments, depending on store size and traffic, said Cole. The sections will range 40 to 96 linear feet, and carry 250 to 400 stockkeeping units.
Andrew Wolf, managing director, BB&T Capital Markets, Richmond, Va., said the retailers' co-marketing efforts are a defensive response to the competitive reality of the grocery industry, where many categories are contracting.