Adult play-doh; Store or ship

New York (AP) – The epidemic is turning this into a holiday shopping season like no other.

Toy companies are targeting stuck-home adult-ups turning into sticky-smelling play-doh and lagoos and stuck holes. Those who have added a puppy to their family during the epidemic will see lots of gift options for their new furry friend. And with more people shopping online, stores are doing double duty as shipping centers, trying to get gifts at their doorsteps as quickly as possible.

Here’s what to expect:


Toys for adults

Children are not the only ones who need a little fun. Toy companies are targeting bored adults stuck at home during epidemics. Need something to fidget during your next zoom meeting? Hasbro has new moldable play-milk varieties that smell like the ones grown in the material: lettuce, freshly cut grass and smoked meat.

Lego, meanwhile, wants adults to put on their headphones and turn a piece of plastic into a hangable piece of art in their new kit, like Andy Whehl’s famous Marilyn Monroe portrait.

Marissa DiBartolo, editor-in-chief of the toy review site Toy Insider, says she has created more coloring books and challenging puzzles with adults in mind.


From YouTube at the toy store

Canines on “Pat Patrol” see their tails better. YouTube stars with millions of viewers are heading to the toy wing, the place where TV cartoon characters ruled.

This is because children spend a lot of time watching YouTube instead of cable TV, says Debartolo. It makes the stars of the video-streaming site just as recognizable as the people on Nickelodeon.

Blippie figurines, the guy who wears orange suspenders and hosts educational kid videos on YouTube, are sold on Target and Amazon. At Walmart, a toy named Ryan Kazi, whose child reviews his toy on Ryan’s World YouTube channel, is a hot seller. Toy company Vitech is taking a different approach, with the green-screen Kids Zoom maker selling camera cameras so that kids can add special effects and make YouTube look impressive.

And if you need another clue as to how you became one of YouTube’s biggest stars, a 42-foot tall balloon based on Ryan World’s Qazi appeared at Messi’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, like floating next to a TV icon. Chase from SpongeBob and, yes, “Patrol”.


Stores as a shipping hub

Retailers including Walmart and Best Buy who used to use their locations as a hub to order e-commerce merchants are now coming up with new strategies to make it faster. These measures are taken because they face a tax-expected holiday shortage on shipping networks and potentially delays in delivery.

Walmart launched a special program for the holidays this week. Instead of carriers like FedEx or UPS, some of its orders are delivered online from stores using delivery services such as PostMets and Dordesh. The aim is to ensure that even on the same day, customers will be able to receive their orders quickly.

Best Buy, meanwhile, says its 40 stores are being hired exclusively to handle the volume of online online orders, although all of its stores carry e-commerce packages. Target: 340 stores will ship more than 70% of its ship-to-store units during the holiday quarter.

And then many small- to medium-sized businesses are increasingly turning to micro-warehouse – operators – mini-shipping hubs located in urban areas – to help pack and deliver goods. Ben Jones, CEO and founder of Ohio, which operates five micro-warehouses for various brands such as Sparkling Tonic Olipop, or provides software for third parties in 115 locations in the US for e-commerce fulfillment, says he uses his own software. Have seen more brands. Because if the items are ordered after the first week of December, many cannot guarantee delivery by Christmas by standard shipping.


Gifts for gifts

More people adopted puppies and kittens during the epidemic, and stores were preparing to run out of cash. Petco sells matching pajamas for dogs and their men with ice cubes and Christmas trees. And the online pet store Chevy is becoming more personal, writing pets names in bowls, bowls or beds.

Consulting firm Dell It expects that half of the shoppers will spend some of their money on pet treats and other supplies this holiday season.


Forget about impulse shopping

It’s not just the fierce crowd that will be absent from you this holiday season. Impulse will do shopping – the practice of throwing away extra items like toys or bath balms, as shoppers go in and out of the aisles.

According to Marshall Cohen, chief industry adviser at market research firm NPD Group, 25% of holiday shopping in particular is based on impulse. This year, Cohen said he expects the figure to drop to about 10%, as dramatic online shopping will be theirs to avoid physical stores. And when they go to the stores, customers will shop with purpose, they will choose the items they need when they try to minimize the exposure to COVID-19.

“Impulse shopping is icing on the cake,” Cohen said. “That’s the difference between a successful nonprofit holiday and a ho ha holiday.” ___

The story has been updated to correct that Petco offers matching pajamas for owners and dogs, not matching sweaters.