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Walmart, Mattel boost QR code-driven toy sales with more locations

November 6, 2013

The virtual toy stores are located in commuter stations

Mattel and Walmart are ramping up a QR code-driven virtual toy store program first introduced last year with more locations around Canada to help commuters shop for gifts this holiday season.

The virtual toy stores are located in Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto and on trains. The stores will run for four weeks, enabling commuters to purchase some of the season’s most popular toy gifts by scanning a QR code with their smartphones.

“In the last few years we have seen mobile emerge as an important tool when shopping for toys as majority of our consumers are using their devices while they are shopping in our stores,” said Jennifer Wallace, category manager for toys at Walmart Canada, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.

“Consumers are now using their devices to not only check pricing, inventory and reviews, but also to make purchases online, which is why we have partnered again this year with Mattel to launch the Virtual Toy Store in three markets across the country,” she said.

“The Virtual Toy Store simplifies the mobile shopping experience for our customers by making it easy for them to scan the QR codes, read reviews, easily add items to their basket on and have their order shipped for free to their doorstep this holiday season.”

Virtual toy stores
With consumers increasingly shopping online via their mobile devices, the virtual toy stores are designed to bring added convenience to the process by making it easy for commuters to check items of their holiday shopping list while they have a few extra minutes on the way to or from work.

Walmart reports that with last year’s virtual toy store a success, the companies decided to not only repeat the endeavor this year but expand it to new locations as well.

Last year, there was one virtual store located in Toronto.

Train cars have been turned into virtual toy stores

This year, the virtual stores will appear in Montreal’s McGill Station, Vancouver’s Waterfront Station and Toronto’s Union Station. The toy stores in Vancouver and Toronto launched on Nov. 4, and the one in Montreal will be introduced on Nov. 18.

The virtual stores feature display walls of more than 50 three-dimensional images of toys such as Barbie, MonsterHigh, HotWheels and Thomas & Friends.

Train commerce
Commuters can choose their favorite toy, snap a picture of its corresponding QR code with their smartphone and pay. Purchases will be shipped directly to the buyer’s home by Walmart Canada with free shipping.

The virtual toy stores will also appear on ten GO Train cars traveling in and out of the greater Toronto area.

One car on each train has been transformed into a virtual toy store on wheels, with the outside of the car covered in images of popular toy items while inside the car, commuters will find a poster of toys that can be shopped.

Mattel and Walmart have also created an online hub for the virtual toy store,, where shoppers can find the collection of the Top 100 Toys of the season.

“We’ve taken the Virtual Toy Store program one step further this year, by allowing consumers to actually shop while on the move,” said Melissa Farjo, national account manager at Mattel Canada.

“By offering Virtual Pop Up Toy Stores on GO Transit, we are taking the ‘stop’ out of the term one-stop shop as it doesn’t take any time away from one’s regular routine,” she said. “A toy store on wheels is truly convenience at its best.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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