Flagship Barbie store in Shanghai closes

08:40, March 08, 2011      

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The flagship Barbie store was closed on Monday in the Chinese business hub Shanghai after just two years.

The popular brand's owner explained the closure as a change in strategy.

Mattel Incorporated, the world's largest toy maker, confirmed the store's closing but said that Barbie dolls will remain available in more than one thousand retail outlets in China.

The toy maker said that closing the concept store was a change in strategy and that the company would continue to increase investment in China.

The Shanghai flagship store opened in March 2009 as Mattel celebrated the Barbie brand's 50th birthday. The store was meant to attract customers in the world's most populous country.

The six-story store covers a total area of 3,500 square meters and has spa, cafe, design studio, fashion stage and shelves of Barbie dolls and Barbie products.

However, sales at the flagship store failed to take off, which analysts attribute to fierce competition and the unfamiliarity of Chinese consumers with the iconic American doll.

Mattel is not the only foreign retailer with a large investment in the Chinese market that had to change its strategy.

U.S. retailer Best Buy announced last month that it had closed its nine outlets in China and its head office in Shanghai.

Source: Xinhua
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