Canadian Girl: Mattel’s premium dolls head north
Mattel’s American Girl doll brand, with sales up 20% over last year, is stepping outside of the US for the first time and into Canada’s largest book, gift and specialty retailer Indigo, which will open two American Girl retail concept stores this spring.
The American Girl catalogue will accompany the two experiential store-in-store boutiques set to be located in Indigo’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto, and on Robson Street in Vancouver.
Canadians will be privy to the brand’s popular doll lineup, which includes the Girl of the Year doll that launches annually, the My American Girl line of contemporary 18-inch dolls, and the recently expanded Bitty Baby line of 11 different baby characters. Doll prices will be in the US$80 to US$110 range.
The Indigo American Girl boutiques will also carry Dress Like Your Doll girl-sized clothing and a variety of American Girl books. And like their southern neighbors, fans will be able to treat their dolls to a new hairstyle or ear piercing in the Doll Hair Salon and enjoy free girl-and-mom-friendly events and programs offered throughout the year.
The nearly 30-year-old American Girl brand has been good to its parent. The 15 US American Girls stores and coinciding catalogue generated sales of US$122.3 million this past quarter, while, comparatively speaking, Mattel’s Barbie dolls are showing relatively stagnant growth of 3%, following a 12% drop in Q2 of this year.