Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Walk like a superhero


ironman1Ever want a pair of shoes to make you feel like a like a superhero? Next year, your dream could come true.

Marvel Entertainment, home to iconic characters like Spider-Man and the X-Men, has formed an alliance with Brown Shoe, owner of brands like Naturalizer, Dr. Scholl’s and Buster Brown, to launch footwear that features characters from Marvel’s upcoming films like “Iron Man 2,” “Thor,” “Captain America” and “The Avengers.”

The first collection will hit stores in spring 2010, with the release of “Iron Man 2”– starring Robert Downey Jr and Gwyneth Paltrow. 

Brown Shoe, which also operates Famous Footwear stores, will make and sell a wide array of footwear under the licensing deal and products will range from athletic shoes to beach sandals.

Check Out Line: Toyland bottomline


barbie.jpgCheck out earnings in toyland… for one company at least.
Hasbro posted a better-than- expected first-quarter profit on Monday, with sales rising 13 percent. Meanwhile, Mattel had a loss in the first quarter , hurt by legal expenses, higher costs and lower sales of its Fisher-Price products.
Oh, and Barbie is sagging too, with that Mattel doll line posting  12 percent drop in sales in the United States.
Now, it’s hard to draw a lot from the first quarter in the toy business. After the holiday season, many people often take a break from buying toys.
But Hasbro had success with its Transformers and Littlest Pet Shop lines.
Mattel is hoping price increases in June will help offset rising costs.
Meanwhile, the competition really heats up again in coming months as the summer movie season hits. Will “Speed Racer” and “Batman: The Dark Knight” win the day for Mattel over Hasbro-linked “Iron Man” and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull?”
At Mattel, they have to be singing “Go Speed Racer, go!”
Also in the basket:
Reversing Field, Macy’s Goes Local (WSJ)
Weak dollar takes toll on European beauty exports (WWD)