Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Holiday cheer in Barbie land


BARBIE/ANNIVERSARYCheck out more Barbie dolls making an appearance under the Christmas tree.

Mattel, the world’s largest toy maker, posted higher than expected profit for its quarter that included the holiday season, boosted by strong demand for its Fashionista Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels cars.

The company was also helped by tight cost controls and a weak U.S. dollar.

Mattel said worldwide gross sales for Barbie rose 12 percent, while Hot Wheels jumped 16 percent.

But at American Girl, sales were flat.

Could it be that while consumers might be feeling a little bit more confident, they are more comfortable paying $10 for a Barbie doll than $95 for an American Girl doll?

Also in the basket:

Walmart seeks efficiency in new U.S. structure

Newell posts profit despite lower sales

Fortune Brands tops view outlook falls short

Lauder, P&G flex marketing muscle (WWD, subscription required)

(Photo: Reuters)

An American Girl Christmas?


Los Angeles shoppers weren’t in much of a splurging mood, except when it came to buying dolls and doll clothes at American Girl. The Grove shopping center is home to one of six American Girl stores in the United States and parents said its dolls are on every girl’s wish list. Here’s what we captured on camera: