Target Rolls the Dice on Board Games

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Target Rolls the Dice on Board Games

By Cyndi Loza - 08/06/2018

Target is rolling out more than 130 new games, including 95 exclusive items, as the mass merchant continues responding to the growing popularity of board games.

Among the exclusive items available in stores and on target.com are tabletop games Mega Land, Ticket to Ride Express: New York City, and YeahNope from Red Raven Games, Days of Wonder and Wonder Forge, respectively. The retailer also added “epic throwback gems” such as Pressman Toy's MacGyver: The Escape Room Game and Big G Creative's The Brady Bunch Party Game (both of which are Target exclusives).

In stores, select tabletop games enjoy secondary merchandising space via endcaps in the toy department that seem to be permanently devoted to the category. On target.com, shoppers can browse the games by type, such as party, family or travel, as well as browse dedicated pages for new and recommended games.

“There’s something special about breaking free from screens and spending real, face-to-face time with family and friends—and that’s why our [shoppers] are loving the ever-growing board game trend,” said Kelly Caruso, Target’s senior vice president, hardlines, in a July 30 “A Bullseye View” blog post. “We’re out to make Target their go-to destination for great games, so over the past couple of years, we’ve more than doubled our assortment and we’re constantly working with the nation’s leading game makers to create even more unique, exclusive games for our guests to enjoy with those they love.”

The tabletop gaming industry looked to be on the wane in 2015, according to The Guardian, but profits have since increased as more people move away from screens and towards human interaction in gaming.

“The gaming industry is doing very well right now," Jonathan Berkowitz of Hasbro Gaming told the newspaper. "We’re continuing to see popularity grow for all types of face-to-face games. With classic favorites such as Monopoly and Game of Life and new, social games such as Chow Crown and Don’t Lose Your Cool we are confident this momentum will continue.”

Target had already been watching the trend in 2016 when it rolled out 50 exclusive SKUs, teaming with large game-makers, specialty companies and new startups alike to develop the exclusive offerings. The same year, the mass merchant also brought back classic board games such as Hasbro's Clue, Scrabble, Candyland and Uno to hook parents with nostalgia.