July 19, 2013 |
Disturbing news this week for Barbie: Mattel reported that revenue from the doll fell 12% in the second quarter that ended June 30. That's Barbie's fourth straight quarterly sales slide. It's tough to be a middle-aged female entertainer, and Barbie, at 54, is no different. Over the years, she has tried to rebrand herself -- Dentist Barbie, Astronaut Barbie -- but she's still struggling to keep a strong fan base. Mutating into the meme of the moment doesn't seem to work for her. Becoming Hip Hop Barbie won't make her a cult figure again.
July 17, 2013 |
Barbie seems to be losing ground as the queen bee of doll-dom, as sales of the Mattel Inc. figurine slipped for the fourth straight quarter. Revenue from the fashion toy sank 12% in the second quarter, which ended June 30, the El Segundo-based company said Wednesday. During the same period, other girl brands such as Monster High surged up 23%, the company said. Mattel's American Girl line got a 14% boost. The Fisher-Price product category took a 3% hit, while Hot Wheels tumbled 1%. Overall, sales at the nation's largest toymaker were up 1% to $1.17 billion, though revenue from North America softened 2%. The company is doing heady business abroad, where a growing middle class helped sales swell 4%. Emerging-growth markets such as China, Russia and India “continue to prove to be fertile ground,” with revenue surging by double digits, Chief Executive Bryan G. Stockton said in a conference call with analysts.
July 5, 2013 |
Rancho Cucamonga-based E.S. Kluft & Co. merged with a British company Wednesday with the goal of becoming one of the largest luxury bed manufacturers in the world. Vi-Spring, a wholly owned subsidiary of Flex Group of Spain, agreed to purchase 51% of E.S. Kluft & Co. as part of the deal. The company has operations in Europe, Asia and North America. Flex Group has operations in Southern Europe and Latin America. Earl Kluft, founder and chief executive of Kluft, will be the chief executive of the combined North American company.
May 23, 2013 |
The week before the Memorial Day holiday has been a busy one for retailers. Here's a sampling of happenings from Mattel, J.C. Penney and Abercrombie & Fitch. Mattel: As the El Segundo-based toymaker adapts to its newly created North America division, it is reassigning jobs and instituting layoffs at its New York City offices and its Fisher-Price campus in East Aurora, N.Y. About 100 employees will be affected by what Mattel called an “extremely difficult decision” made to help the company “better match resources with the needs of the business.” Some of the workers will be allowed to relocate to Mattel's Southern California headquarters, a move set to wrap up by mid-October, according to a statement issued to The Times on Thursday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 30, 2013 |
Police were called to Mattel Inc.'s corporate headquarters in El Segundo on Tuesday after a plastic bottle exploded. A security guard at the toy company's design studio at 2031 East Mariposa Ave. reported hearing what sounded like multiple explosions around 7 a.m., according to El Segundo police. When authorities arrived, they found that a plastic bottle had exploded. Employees inside were evacuated while sheriff's arson and explosives investigators inspected the facility, but nothing else was found.
April 29, 2013 |
Barbie is vacating her pink Malibu mansion and hunting for international digs. Thomas the Tank Engine is being revamped as an even livelier locomotive. Max Steel, the new kid on the block, is marketed as a "modern day tech superhero. " The toy brands, all properties of Mattel Inc., represent an evolution at the El Segundo company. At age 68, the company is incorporating more digital elements into its toys, embracing more Hollywood partnerships, pushing into foreign markets - whatever it takes to keep its status as the world's largest toy maker.