TECHNOLOGY

Toys ‘R’ Us lands American Girl

BY Marianne Wilson

In a deal that comes right before the all-important holiday selling season, Toys “R” Us has entered into an exclusive partnership with one of the toy industry’s premier doll brands.

Mattel’s American Girl division announced a multi-year partnership with Toys “R” Us that will make the toy giant the first — and only — U.S.-based retailer to feature American Girl in-store shops.

Toys “R” Us will also be the exclusive retail partner to carry American Girl's Truly Me line of contemporary dolls and related outfits and accessories. The move marks the first time the company has extended such a broad assortment of its doll product outside of its existing channels, which include 20 American Girl stores in the United States, and an online site.

This expansion comes on the heels of the launch of American Girl's newest doll and content line, WellieWishers, designed for girls ages 5 to 7 years.

"For years, girls and their families have been asking for more immediate and convenient ways to shop for and experience American Girl," says Katy Dickson, president of American Girl. "Partnering with a top retailer like Toys "R" Us allows us to meet our customers where and when they want to shop and to take our timeless life lessons to even more girls.

The new WellieWishers product line will begin hitting Toys “R” Us store shelves on Sunday. In late October, Toys "R" Us will debut American Girl in-store shops in 97 locations across the country.

The shops, which will range in size up to 700 sq. ft., will feature an exclusive selection of American Girl's Truly Me line and Wellie Wishers. Additional Toys "R" Us stores will open shop-in-shops in 2017.

"We are focused on finding new, exciting ways to bring our stores to life, and are thrilled to be launching this exclusive American Girl shop-in-shop in nearly 100 Toys "R" Us locations across the country just in time for the holiday season," said Richard Barry, global chief merchandising Officer, Toys "R" Us.

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