Walmart Start Holiday Shopping EarlyBack in October we wrote about how the Christmas holiday shopping season was going to get underway on Thanksgiving night.  We explained how Walmart was planning to open its stores at 8pm, which at the time seemed to give them a leg up on their rivals.  But we also noted that competitors were not likely to sit back and let Walmart be the sole retailer to start early.  And that has been the case as many retailers have matched Walmart’s opening time.

But now, competitors have something else to match, and they cannot do it in their stores.  Today, exactly four weeks until Black Friday, Walmart rolled out its online holiday specials.  By doing so, they have effectively dismissed the so-called Cyber Monday, the heavily promoted Monday after Thanksgiving when online sellers show off their special deals.

Of course, as with the early store openings, we would expect other retailers to follow Walmart’s lead.  Expect to see more special online deals from other retailers very soon.

Marketing Toys to GirlsHere is the story of a market that appears to be changing.  For years, sales in the toy market, which are mainly products targeted to those under the age of 12, was dominated by toys aimed at boys.  Products like transportation toys (e.g., Hot Wheels, Matchbox, trains, etc.), video games and building products would easily outsell highly traditional girls’ products, such as dolls, dress-up items and play kitchen products.  But now girls’ products are outselling boys' toys. 

Yet as the story notes, the overall toy market is experiencing a considerable change.  In particular, mobile gaming is threatening the entire toy market.  This has led  toy companies to expand their product offerings by investing in gaming companies.  It may also suggest toy companies will be reducing the emphasis they give to traditional products.

It will be interesting to see if in 10 years the top sellling products in the toy industry are physical products or whether the future is in digital, online products. Turns 15Today is a significant day for us at as it was 15 years ago today that we acquired the domain name.  The site has changed a lot over the years, not only in terms of its design but also its focus. 

Below we summarize some of the key changes that have occurred. 

(If you would like to learn more about our evolution, including early site pictures, see History of

February 1998: The forerunner to was published on a university library page.  It was limited to offering a collection of links to Internet resources under the Marketing Virtual Library name.
October 1998: The site moved off the university server and began operating under the domain.  While the Marketing Virtual Library name was still a prominent feature, over the next few years that would change as the would become the key branding name for the site.
Throughout 2004: This was a pivotal year for the site.  There were many changes including moving from a static HTML based site to a dynamically coded and database operated site.  Also, there were a number of important features added including our extensive Marketing Tutorials and the Latest Marketing Stories.  Finally, probably the biggest change was the move to accepting advertisements.
December 2010: A significant site redesign led to the introduction of a blog-style layout.  This layout is still the principle design of the site.

We would like to thank everyone who has visited over the years.  We hope to continue to provide good marketing information for many years to come.