Walmart and Mattel team up on mobile shopping installation

Walmart reaching out to Toronto’s downtown core with QR solution

In an effort to make holiday shopping a little less frantic, Mattel Canada and Walmart Canada have unveiled a pop-up virtual toy store.

With two walls of three-dimensional toy images, consumers can simultaneously window-shop and make purchases using their smartphones. The QR code-based system launched Monday morning in Toronto’s underground PATH walkway system, and will be available to shoppers for the next four weeks.

The Toronto launch comes after virtual shopping venues have proven successful in tech-savvy markets such as Seoul and Tokyo, with limited but apparently growing experimentation in North America.

“We know that Canadians are becoming more comfortable with e-commerce,” said Melissa Chau, brand manager of Mattel Canada. “But mobile commerce is also starting to take off. It’s definitely something people are gravitating toward.”

In addition to being able to skip lineups during hectic holiday hours, Chau said the virtual toy store allows shoppers to continue their commute and shop on-the-move. “It’s as simple as scanning a QR code. You can keep walking, and that code will take you straight to the page of the specific toy you’re interested in.” Purchases are then shipped to consumers at no added cost.

Currently there are no Walmart retail locations in Toronto’s business core, so the virtual toy store is an attempt to reach urban consumers who do their shopping in the city. “It’s all about creating the easiest shopping experience possible,” said Chau. “This is a new path to purchase that we know consumers are looking for.”

The virtual toy store is located in a high-volume area near the city’s busy Union Station. Approximately 100,000 commuters pass through the PATH every weekday – 41,000 of whom will walk by the virtual toy store.

The pop-up store was created by IMA Outdoor and Brandfire Marketing Group. Last spring, Brandfire helped roll out a virtual P&G shopping installation in conjunction with, which sold household items close to the same busy location where Mattel and Walmart Canada set up shop this morning.

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