The Barbie Shanghai store, a six-floor palace of shiny pink featuring a spa and café has closed down. The store had been there for two years but as per Mattel’s reports, the company that owns the brand, the decision was “based on sales results”.
“China is such an important market for Barbie and Mattel,” the spokeswoman said. “This is a strategic change. It is not because of a financial or retail reason. If you look at the concept store, the primary purpose was not for retail, it was for the brand concept, to promote the culture of the brand. We have learned a lot and now want to bring that experience to more regions so more Chinese can benefit from it.”
The spokeswoman declined to provide details on Mattel’s new strategy here. A statement from the company said that the Shanghai Barbie store had “successfully attracted tens of thousands of loyal customers and accomplished its mission to promote the overall Barbie brand and build a strong foundation for Barbie’s future progress in China.”
Paul French of the Shanghai-based firm Access Asia claims the store had been struggling and failed to meet sales targets. He also said that tarditionally Chinese girls are different in their thoughts and manner from the western counterparts and do not adhere to the concept of going out for drinks to a toy shop. French also said the Barbie doll concept was too “sexual” for Chinese mothers shopping for their children.