eToys Falls Into The Gap

In an effort to co-market the top two holiday season gift items, clothing giant Gap, Inc. and online toy seller eToys, Inc. (Nasdaq: ETYS) are launching a holiday season promotional campaign.

Gap’s two chains for children — GapKids and babyGap — will promote eToys on their Web sites and in their traditional stores. eToys will reciprocate by promoting Gap clothing on its site.

As part of the promotion, GapKids and babyGap customers will get a $10 (US$) eToys gift certificate with each purchase of $75 or more, while eToys customers will get a $10 certificate good at GapKids or babyGap with each $75 toy purchase.

The Gap certificates are good for purchases at either traditional stores or the online sites.

Last year, visitors to toy sites on the Web nearly doubled in the four weeks after Thanksgiving, compared to the four weeks before, according to Web researcher Media Metrix. Online toy sellers received more than 4 million hits during the post-Thanksgiving rush, up 86 percent. Apparel sites also showed a dramatic increase of 73 percent after Thanksgiving, logging more than 3.1 million visitors during the last four weeks of the buying season.

The “Holiday Get-together” promotion runs through December 15th, while the in-store component begins November 11th and runs through the 28th.

Brand Awareness

eToys has already begun to establish itself atop the online toys and games world, but the company is counting on this partnership with the well-known Gap brand to keep building the eToys name. According to eToys’ Senior Vice President of Marketing Janine Bousquette, eToys has taken a “highly selective” approach to promoting its name, connecting it with established brands that carry a specific meaning for consumers.

For the Gap, the joint effort gives shoppers one more reason to aim for the Gap stores this season. Already one of the most widely recognized clothing brands in the United States, the Gap will generate additional attention for its online stores through this agreement.

The companies added a special page to each of their Web sites to promote the “Holiday Get-together,” but, surprisingly, neither includes a link to the other company’s site.

About the Companies

The Gap has more than 1,900 stores in the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan, featuring clothing, accessories and personal care products for adults, kids and babies.

eToys, Inc. is the top Internet retailer of children’s products, with more than 100,000 toys, software programs, videos, music and other items. The company also operates BabyCenter, Inc., a online community for new and expectant parents.

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