Walmart unveils its traveling holiday toy store

Pop-up experience includes Lego, Spinmaster, Hasbro, Mattel and Funrise

Michelle DiPardo November 17, 2014

Walmart-19Walmart Canada has launched its “Holiday Helper Workshop,” a pop-up experience where Torontonians can play with and live-purchase this season’s most popular toys.

The retailer unveiled the festive space just prior to Toronto’s Santa Claus Parade Sunday, allowing consumers to try out some of the latest toys from brands including Lego, Spinmaster, Hasbro, Mattel and Funrise.

Visitors to the workshop will also be served Walmart’s “Great Value Hot Chocolate” and “Our Finest Candy Cane Cookies” and have the opportunity to take a photo with “Holiday Helper Workshop” mascot Evan, a 30-foot tall elf. Shoppers can have their purchased items shipped to their homes, free of charge.

“The concept is really about creating magic and excitement around the holiday season, but also about making it really easy and accessible to shop Walmart,” said Cheri Anthony, director of merchandising, toys at Walmart Canada. “We really want that magic around Christmas. So that ability to be able to come in and play with the toys is really geared towards kids and big kids at heart.”

Walmart’s Holiday Helper Workshop is currently located in downtown Toronto at the southwest corner of Bay and Wellington, and will remain there until November 21, before moving on to three other “mystery locations” throughout November and December.

The effort is an extension of the retailer’s virtual pop-up toy stores that ran last year in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal in partnership with Mattel.

“We’ve picked locations that are distinct and unique and don’t have an existing Walmart store. All part of being easily accessible for customers who don’t necessarily have a Walmart next door to them every day,” Anthony said.

Developed in partnership with Mosaic, with help from Apex Public Relations, Walmart is promoting the initiative on its site and on social media with #HolidayHelper. The “Holiday Helper Workshop” runs until December 21.