Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Hannah Montana rising


Check out the marketing power of Hannah Montana.
Watch out Barbie. Hannah is clawing her way up behind you. At least as far as girl’s toys are concerned.
According the National Retail Federation’s 2008 top toy survey, Hannah Montana has moved up four spots to the number two position for girls’ in the Top Toys survey, trailing on Mattel’s Barbie.
Toys based on the Disney character, who is played by Miley Cyrus, knocked those scrappy Bratz dolls out of the number two spot. Bratz fell all the way to number four behind just-plain-old, everyday, no-specific-name dolls.
As far as boys are concerned, the list is similar to last year, with video games in general topping the survey and the Nintendo Wii in the number two spot. Legos, cars and Transformers round out the top five.
While the weak economy is leading to expectations of a dismal holiday shopping season, parents could find some bargains in toys.
“The good news for parents is that many retailers are featuring toys as loss leaders this year, heavily discounting and promoting these items to bring shoppers into stores,” NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin said.
Also in the basket:
CPI drops at record pace in October
BJ’s Wholesale quarterly profit jumps
Why Doesn’t Costco accept food stamps? (N.Y. Times City Room)

(Reuters photo)

Wake Up! It’s Hannah (prank) calling


miley.jpgOn July 23, Shop Talk wrote about Wal-Mart teaming up with Disney to offer free wake-up calls from Hannah Montana, (a.k.a. Miley Cyrus), as part of its back-to-school marketing push.

Parents can use the service to send their child a wake-up call — as early as 5 am — to get them ready for the new school year.

Mattel launches My Meebas as Barbie stumbles


mymeebas.jpgWhat would Mattel wish for if it had one wish to make? The launch of the toy giant’s “My Meebas” points to one possibility — better fortunes for its girl’s toy business, as Barbie sales continue to face trouble.

Mattel launched “My Meebas” — a toy for girls aged 6 to 12 that houses a plush “Meeba” in a plastic tube, which serves as a gaming device with a movable LCD screen.

Wake up! It’s Hannah calling!


hannah.jpgAs retailers look for ever-cleverer ways to spur sales, Wal-Mart has teamed with Disney to offer free wake-up calls from Hannah Montana, (a.k.a. Miley Cyrus), as part of its back-to-school marketing push. 

How can a wake-up call spur sales?

Well, not only are parents given the option to sign up to send their child a wake-up call, they can also send their child a reminder that it is time to do some back-to-school shopping.