Shop Talk

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Check Out Line: Losses in toyland


USA/Check Out the losses at Mattel, the world’s biggest toy company.

The maker of Barbie said its first-quarter loss widened and CEO Robert Eckert said Mattel would keep controlling costs as tough market conditions test the resilience of toy companies.

But one area where Mattel has not scrimped is on its worldwide campaign to spotlight Barbie, its 50-year-old flagship doll, which has suffered months of weak sales as children’s taste in toys change. 

Those steps included a fashion show in New York, unveiling a six-story flagship store in Shanghai, a party in Malibu, California, and selling special designs of Barbie dolls.

Its efforts seem to be reaping some early benefits. 

Worldwide Barbie sales fell 5 percent in the first quarter, less than its overall sales decline, while sales increased in the double digit range in the domestic market.