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Christmas Gift Guide
Culture

eToys, Gap team for holiday sales

In an effort to shore up for increased competition this holiday season, the Internet retailer is joining forces with the offline clothing giant to draw customers to each other's stores.

In an effort to shore up for increased competition this holiday season, Internet retailer eToys is teaming with offline clothing giant the Gap to draw customers to each other's stores.

Partnering specifically with BabyGap and GapKids, eToys today launched "Holiday Get-Together," a cross-promotional campaign that will be featured both online and in stores at GapKids and BabyGap, as well as online at eToys, the companies said in a statement.

Executives at eToys said the company approached the Gap's marketing team last summer about creating a cross-promotional campaign. "We felt that the Gap, with BabyGap and GapKids, had the same target audience as eToys," company spokeswoman Janine Bousquette said. "It's really about partnering with another quality company that is family focused."

The move is eToys' attempt at making headway against competitors, online and offline alike--and it illustrates the lengths retailers are going to this holiday season to position themselves in front of as many consumers as possible. In addition to deals such as this, many online companies have been turning to offline media such as television and radio in the last few months to advertise their online offerings.

Along with online competitors such as Amazon.com, eToys faces competition from offline children's retailers such as Toys "R" Us, which have launched their own online campaigns. But Toys "R" Us, for one, has seen its online efforts hit a number of snares.

Last month, eToys warned investors that marketing costs this quarter will be one-third higher than originally forecast, as it promotes its Web site for the holiday shopping season. eToys faces competition from rivals such as Amazon.com, which also are spending more to market their sites.

Last year, the toy industry had a watershed year, recording sales of about $80 million, according to Forrester Research. Analysts predict that this holiday season will be better. Forrester projects that online toy sales will reach $253 million this year, with about 40 percent of that coming during this holiday season.

The new promotional campaign offers GapKids and BabyGap customers a $10 eToys gift certificate with any purchase of $75 or more. Similarly, customers who spend $75 or more at eToys.com will receive a $10 gift certificate good at GapKids and BabyGap, online or in stores.

The eToys and Gap online promotion will run through December 15. The in-store component will begin on November 11 and will run through November 28.

News.com's Greg Sandoval contributed to this report.