Publishers Weekly reported today that Borders has added educational games and toys to the children’s sections in its 500 nationwide superstores. The merchandise is divided into toys and games for children 3 years and younger; for kids 3 to 7; and for kids 7 through 12.
In addition to toys and games, Borders recently created a store for teens, Borders Ink Teen Shop, as well as a division for Independent Readers in the 8 to 12 age group, said Kathryn Popoff, Borders' vice president of books and merchandising in a press release.
Popoff explained the purpose of introducing children's products into the bookstores:
"We want to guide our customers through our stores from the early stages of their lives up through adulthood, enriching their experiences every step of the way through books and other products. It all begins in our Children's Department with a great assortment of educational toys and games that help kids develop the skills they need to become great readers. As kids grow and their interests expand, we progress them into our Independent Reader section and then into our Borders Ink Teen Shops. When they become adults, we provide them with great genre fiction titles, biographies and books from other categories. As a retailer, it's very gratifying to be able to offer our customers products that inform, educate and entertain throughout their lives."
But do not expect any low-budget knickknacks for the kids: Reputable toy manufactures such as LEGO, Playmobil, Melissa & Doug, ALEX, and Scientific Explorers are among the many companies that have lined up to introduce their kiddie goods at Borders.
Still young at heart but pretending not to be, teenyboppers and tweens alike can look forward to the Borders Ink Teen Shops, which will feature graphics novels, "Twilight" merchandise—-from lunch boxes to trading cards—and other products from Italy-based Tokidoki (which means "sometimes" in Japanese).
According to the Borders press release, parents of 3-year-olds or younger can find "bright and colorful infant plush toys from ALEX Jr. that feature visually stimulating and tactile components that help babies explore their worlds." For older infants, there will be products such as the Chicco Butterfly Spinner, which helps build eye-hand coordination and visual skills, and the Animal Cottage, a shape-sorting game. The section also features educational-learning toys from Learning Resources that teach toddlers to identify, count and match items through hands-on play, as well as wooden and floor puzzles from Melissa & Doug.