Tech

Notable Holiday Trends: Adult Play-Doh; Shipping Stores

New York (AP)-With a pandemic, this is becoming a unique holiday shopping season.

Toy companies are targeting adults trapped in their homes, where latte-scented Play-Doh and Lego turn into Warhol. Anyone who adds a puppy to their family during a pandemic will see a lot of gift options for their new furry friends. Also, as more people shop online, the store acts as a distribution center, trying to deliver gifts to the front door as soon as possible.

Here’s what you can expect:

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Toys for adults

Children aren’t the only ones who need fun. Toy companies are targeting boring adults who are stuck at home during a pandemic. Need something to be fidgeting at your next Zoom meeting? Hasbro has new moldable Play-Doh varieties with adult-recognizable aromas such as latte, freshly cut grass, and smoked meat.

Meanwhile, Lego wants adults to wear headphones and “forget the rest of the world,” turning plastic pieces of the new kit into hangerable art, like Andy Warhol’s famous portrait of Marilyn Monroe. I’m out.

Marissa Di Bartolo, editor-in-chief of the toy review site TheToyInsider, says she’s seen more coloring books and challenging puzzles designed with adults in mind.

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From YouTube to toy stores

“Paw Patrol” dogs often look at their tails. With millions of viewers, YouTube stars are heading to a toy walkway dominated by cartoon characters on television.

That’s all because kids spend a lot of time watching YouTube instead of cable TV, says Di Bartolo. This allows video streaming site stars to be recognized in the same way as Nickelodeon stars.

Blippi figurines, wearing orange suspenders and hosting educational children’s videos on YouTube, are available for sale on Target and Amazon. At Wal-Mart, toys featuring Ryan Kaji, a kid reviewing toys on Ryan’s World’s YouTube channel, are gaining in popularity. Toy company VTech is another way to tackle the trend, selling a Kidi Zoom Creator camera with a green screen to allow kids to add special effects and pretend to be YouTube’s influential. ..

And if you need another sign of how big a YouTube star is, a 42-foot (13-meter) high balloon based on Ryan’s World Kaji will be on this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. It has appeared and is floating next to the TV. Icons such as SpongeBob, yes, Chase of “Paw Patrol”.

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Store as a delivery hub

Retailers, such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy, who have already used the location as a hub for shipping e-commerce orders, are devising new strategies to make it even faster. This move arises because it faces a holiday crisis that is expected to strain the delivery network and can lead to delivery delays.

Wal-Mart has launched a special program for the holidays this week. Some online orders are processed directly from the store using shipping services such as Postmates and DoorDash rather than carriers such as FedEx and UPS. The purpose is to enable customers to receive orders quickly, even on the same day.

Meanwhile, Best Buy states that 340 stores are specially designated to process larger online orders, even though all stores ship e-commerce packages. The goal is to have 340 stores ship more than 70% of store-shipped units during the holiday quarter.

And many small businesses are increasingly relying on microwarehouse (mini-shipping hubs in urban areas) operators to assist in packing and delivering goods. Ben Jones is CEO and founder of Ohi, runs five microwarehouses from various brands such as Sparkling Tonic Olipop, or has software to 115 third parties for e-commerce fulfillment across the United States. It offers. If you order items after the first week of December, we often cannot guarantee delivery until Christmas with regular shipping.

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Gifts for dogs

More and more people are adopting puppies and kittens during a pandemic, and stores are trying to get cash. Petco sells sweaters for dogs and their humans with snowflakes and Christmas trees. Chewy, an online pet store, has also become more personal, engraving pet names on bandanas, bowls, or beds.

Consulting firm Deloitte estimates that half of shoppers will spend some of their money on pet treats and other supplies this holiday season.

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Forget about impulse purchases

It’s not just the enthusiastic crowd that will be absent during this holiday season. So is impulse buying. It is customary for shoppers to throw in extra items such as toys and bath bombs as they enter and exit the aisles.

According to Marshall Cohen, Chief Industry Advisor to market research firm The NPD Group, 25% of holiday shopping is typically impulse-based. Cohen said this year he expects this number to drop to about 10% as shoppers dramatically shift their online purchases to avoid physical stores. And when they go to the store, customers buy with purpose and get what they need in an attempt to minimize their exposure to COVID-19.

“Impulse buying is cake icing,” Cohen said. “It’s the difference between a successful and informative holiday and a Ho-Hum holiday.”

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Notable Holiday Trends: Adult Play-Doh; Shipping Stores

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