Parent Tested Parent Approved Media Releases Study that Shows Moms Shop Brick-and-Mortar

Consumer Behavior, PTPA Media News, Sales Growth

Parent Tested Parent Approved Media Releases Study that Shows Moms Shop Brick-and-MortarCONCORD, Ontario,

April 4, 2018

Dedicated to understanding consumer toy shopping needs, PTPA (Parent Tested Parent Approved) Media released new survey results revealing where parents spend most of their funds when it comes to buying toys for their children. The responses were telling, with almost 70 percent of moms surveyed within the PTPA Network (69 percent) saying they purchase toys in brick and mortar stores rather than online and the same number of moms indicating that it is very important for them to be able to see a physical toy prior to purchase.


The results come on the heels of Toys ‘R’ Us announcing that they are shutting their doors in the United States. PTPA is known for their Seal of Approval that helps consumers make informed purchasing decisions on criteria other than price.

“When we heard Toys ‘R’ Us was shutting their doors in the U.S. and that it was ‘business as usual’ with the Canadian stores, we wanted to better understand consumer shopping differences and how this news would impact buying decisions,” said Sharon Vinderine, founder and CEO of PTPA Media. “Parents trust us with their purchasing decisions so it’s instrumental for us to understand where they are shopping and why. What we gleamed from this survey is that North American moms are not giving up on the traditional retailers and that they have a nostalgic attachment to big box toy stores. Online shopping has yet to replace big retail when it comes to toy purchases.”

According to the survey of moms within the PTPA Network:

  • One in three (34 percent) visit a retail store in-person monthly to buy kids toys with a further 37 percent visiting retail stores every two to three months for toys;
  • Seven in 10 stated that it is very important for them to be able to see a physical toy prior to purchasing (70 percent);
  • Almost two-thirds say a seal of approval helps when making a purchasing decision, giving it at least a 7 out of 10 on a scale of importance (65 percent).

Also, more than two in five North American moms surveyed within the PTPA Network (43 percent) stated they visited a Toys ‘R’ Us store every few months, while 28 percent of moms said they were shopping there monthly.

On the closure of Toys ‘R’ Us stores in the U.S., one parent remarked, “I am shocked and saddened to see Toys ‘R’ Us close down. This store carried a huge selection of toys and I loved going there just to check out what was new and old. So sorry to see it go.” Another said, “I will have to buy from different retail outlets as I do not prefer to shop online.”

It also appears that the closure may impact sales of new products as young parents and their children aren’t watching broadcast TV to see commercials as much. As one parent explained, “It will make it harder to see items in person. It might lead to more buyer’s regret on my part. Sometimes I only find out about great toys by seeing them in the store. So, I’ll miss out on some of those.”

Closure of Toys ‘R’ Us will encourage shopping at other retailers, not online.

Further, the survey of moms within the PTPA Network revealed that over half say that with the closing of Toys ‘R’ Us they will shop at other retail stores such as Walmart and Target. Only nine percent say that they will shop strictly online as a result of the closures. Additional results show that:

  • Fifty-seven percent of North American moms within the PTPA Network say that Toys ‘R’ Us offered competitive pricing;
  • Three in five (62 percent) are oblivious to the Kickstarter campaigns like the one launched by Isaac Larian to save Toys ‘R’ Us, while more than one in four say they will not contribute to it (28 percent).

“The survey demonstrates that while Americans are wanting the convenience of online shopping, brick and mortar retailers are still the first place they turn when it comes to purchasing toys. It’s clear that crowdfunding is not the answer when it comes to saving these stores.” Vinderine said. “Moms want competitive pricing and to see the options. We know the Seal of Approval does help parents when it comes to purchasing decisions and we will continue to do our part in helping parents make informed purchasing decisions.”

The survey polled 1,811 moms across the United States and Canada within the PTPA Network, with 854 moms in the United States and 957 in Canada.