Amazon Copies Sears, Publishes Holiday Toy Catalog

Amazon is launching its first-ever printed holiday toy catalog, shipping “A Holiday of Play” to millions of its customers starting this month.

“Amazon is excited to offer a new way for customers to shop for toys this holiday season,” Amazon said in a statement, according to CNBC.

There were rumors back in July that Amazon was looking to step in to fill the void Toys R Us left and print a holiday catalog of its own. Among the reasons Toys R Us went out of business, of course, was competition from online stores like Amazon (and big box retailers like Walmart, which actually displaced it as the nation’s largest seller of toys some time ago). But despite its many struggles, the famous  “Big Book” toy catalog was a staple of fall for families nationwide.

In addition to receiving them in the mail, Amazon said customers can also find catalogs at Amazon Bookstores and 4-star locations.

The catalogs are another way Amazon is looking to attract holiday shoppers. The company also announced that it was getting rid of the $25 minimum purchase requirement for “hundreds of millions” of items during this season.

A recent forecast showed that online spending is expected to increase nearly 15 percent in the fourth quarter compared with last year, reaching $124.1 billion. Yet Amazon recently said that its Q4 revenue will range between $66.5 billion and $72.5 billion — well below consensus estimates of $73.79 billion.

“Amazon is slowing down, but it is also becoming more profitable and it has a large amount of profitable growth ahead,” read one recent analysis on Seeking Alpha. That said, Amazon should not falter with holiday shipments, where mistakes can smear company reputations. “Using robots in the warehouse allows Amazon to ship twice as much per square foot. Management says that the warehouse infrastructure is in excellent shape for the holidays.”