Just a few years ago, who would have thought that companies such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble would be getting into the tablet business? Enter a new unlikely competitor, Toys R Us, with the Tabeo, an Android-powered gaming tablet designed specifically for kids.
The $149.99 Tabeo will be available only at Toys “R” Us, so shoppers won’t be able to try it out in a store and then purchase it for less on a rival retailer’s website. The tablet goes on sale Oct. 21, and pre-orders are now available online at Toysrus.com.
“It is our strategic position to offer products that you can’t find anywhere [else] or be compared on price,” said Troy Peterson, a vice president at Toys “R” Us, which is based in Wayne, N.J.
But while private-label products generally have higher profit margins for retailers, Toys “R” Us faces significant risks as it makes its first move into house-brand electronics, experts said.
For one thing, there is substantial competition. The retailer priced its tablet significantly lower than the three similar child-oriented, Wi-Fi-equipped tablets already on the chain’s shelves, but the makers of the Kurio 7, Meep and Lexibook quickly matched its $149.99 price tag, even though the Tabeo won’t be available until late October.