Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Holiday cheer in Barbie land

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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)

Check Out Line: A quarterly update from toyland

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matCheck out Mattel reporting a smaller-than-expected decline in third-quarter revenue as the toymaker sees gains in its Hot Wheels and American Girl brands.

Profit fell to $229.8 million, or 63 cents a share, from $238.1 million, or 65 cents a share, a year earlier.  Net sales fell 8 percent to $1.79 billion.  Analysts expected revenue of $1.78 billion.

Check Out Line: Cost cuts in toy land

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barbieCheck out the quarterly profit from Mattel.

The world’s top toymaker posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit but it wasn’t driven by consumers clamoring for its toys.

Instead, it cut costs to make up for a dearth of toys based on summer movies and the impact of foreign exchange.

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