Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Maybe Mattel should try “Cry-For-Me Elmo”

February 2, 2009

Check out the Island of Misfit Toy Earnings. barbie
 
Mattel bumped along like a train with square wheels in the fourth quarter, posting a 46 percent drop in earnings for the quarter that includes the key holiday selling season.
 
Sales fell 11 percent, a particularly bad sign given the idea that parents would sacrifice shopping for themselves in order to buy toys for their children during the holidays.
 
Granted, part of the sales decline was due to the rising dollar, which hurts the value of sales outside the United States.
 
But U.S. sales also fell 6 percent. And Barbie is really sagging, with a 21 percent drop in sales. Maybe her age is showing. She does hit 50 this year.
 
“Our business wasn’t immune from the deteriorating economic environment of 2008,” CEO Robert Eckert said in a statement.
 
Rival toymaker Hasbro will report next week. But at least it has that Monopoly money to cover any shortfalls.
 
Also in the basket
  
Bharti Wal-Mart picks name for cash-and-carry stores
 
Tough times for luxury watches (WWD, subscription required)

(Photo: Reuters)

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