Mattel plans Barbie flagship store

Firm expected to open its first Barbie flagship store in Shanghai next month.
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The opening is hoped to expand the market in China following a drop in its global sales last year.

Situated on Shanghai's Huaihai Road, the 3,500 square meter, six-floor Barbie flagship store, is set to open on March 7th to celebrate Barbie’s 50th anniversary.

The store will offer all products under the Barbie brand, including dolls, apparel, confectionery, stationery, bubble bath, outdoor toys and electronics.

After only seven years in China, the store is set to raise the brand’s profile. Julia Jensen, Mattel's vice president of public relations and international communication: "Such a move is an important one in Mattel's strategy towards China's market."

Barbie is likely to face strong competition in the Chinese market, however as business head of Huaihai Youth Articles Store, a neighbour of the new Barbie shop, explained:

"The market positioning of Barbie is quite different from Chinese toy brands. I don't think the flagship store would have much impact on the sales of Chinese toys.

"China's toy market has long seen foreign brands including Winnie the Pooh and Mickey. Compared with them, Barbie is still less competitive in terms of its franchisers and product chain."

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