Retailers around the world are benefiting from the hype caused by the Barbie movie

Written by Helen Reed

July 21 (Reuters) – Consumers buy Barbie earrings, perfume, bodysuits and dresses as retailers try to cash in on the Barbie movie opening Friday, reigniting the fondness for the plastic doll and her pink sequin world.

Many people are spending less as the cost of living rises, so retailers are using this opportunity to persuade shoppers to buy more expensive items and increase their revenue.

The wide range of products and brand alliances, many of which are aimed at adults, is a commitment to the nostalgic journey that Barbie represents to many who played with the doll as children.

Mattel, which owns the brand, wants the movie to revamp the doll’s nostalgic appeal while embedding Barbie into the psyche of a new generation.

“I don’t think we’ve seen that many brand partnerships from one movie,” says Joe Ashdown, managing partner of Mando-Connect, a brand partnership agency that’s part of WPP.

Zara’s Barbie collection, which launched on Monday, includes 17 children’s clothing and accessories, such as a pink swimsuit, backpack and sneakers, but the women’s offering is much broader, with 85 items.

Guys can also jump on the trend with a fuchsia bodysuit, or cowboy boots and a denim shirt to match the look Ryan Gosling wore as Barbie’s boyfriend Ken.

Clothing and footwear brands from H&M to Primark, Gap, Superga and Crocs have launched Barbie collections.

Zara’s Barbie perfume, hoop earrings and pink hoodie sold out on the brand’s website in the UK on Wednesday. The men’s fuchsia double-breasted suit blazer, priced at £89.99 ($116.04), is also out of stock.

See also  Flights from the UK to Mexico will be reactivated and increased

The women’s Gap Barbie hoodie was only available online in size XXS, while a pair of Crocs Barbie, priced at $59.99—$10 more than regular Crocs—was out of stock on the Crocs website. Bag brand Beis had a waiting list for all three sizes of pink Barbie bags, priced higher than their usual color range.

Wal-Mart is offering collectors Barbie dolls in various skin tones and hairstyles for $45.

Fashion extends beyond retailers. Hyatt and Hilton Hotels offer Barbie-style hotel suites in cities such as Bogota, Colombia and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The sheer number of products—from rugs to Barbie toothbrushes—raises the possibility that the brand is stretching itself too thin, but a renewed focus on diversity and inclusion from Mattel, its retail partners, and the movie itself could provide enough novelty to sustain interest.

“Anyone can be Barbie or Ken,” says James Zahn, editor of The Toy Book magazine. “I think this has helped grow the brand without over-saturating it.”

($1 = 0.7755 pounds)

(Reporting by Helen Reed, Saviata Mishra, Siddharth Cavalli; Editing by Nick Zieminski; Editing in Spanish by Flora Gomez)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *