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Mattel's sales decline


Toy manufacturer Mattel has been hit by low sales results which are linked to the decline in demand for classic toy Barbie.

Net sales for the company fell by 2.5% to $922.7m, while sales of Barbie fell an undesirable 14% in the three months to March 2015.  The business reported an overall loss of $58.2m for the period- more than triple the $11.2m it lost out on last year.  

The toy giant was aware that its sales were lagging, something that led to the departure of Chief Executive Bryan Stockton back in January. His replacement came in the form of the retailer’s board member Christopher Sinclair, who was optimistic regarding his challenging task:

“In the first quarter, we took a number of steps to implement a rapid turnaround at Mattel - We are already benefitting from better decision-making, alignment and enhanced accountability. And we've begun to refocus our culture on creativity, innovation and improving our speed to market” said Christopher Sinclair, Mattel Chairman and CEO.

Barbie accounts for a quarter of Mattel’s sales and so has been a major part of the company’s new plans. Sinclair adds:

“While we still have a lot of work to do, we're starting to see progress with our core brands like Barbie and Fisher-Price, and I am confident we are making the changes necessary to perform better in the future."

The retailer has had a three year run of difficulties, with competition from toy giant Disney and its Frozen products. Lego has also been a big competitor, with the Danish toy manufacturer having been named the, ‘World’s Most Powerful Brand’ by Brand Finance back in February – Barbie has been struggling to catch up.  

The company will have to push innovation and not just rely on its classic Barbie to prevail in 2015 - this year will be a test  for Mattel and for Sinclair. 

Published on Friday 17 April by Rachel Gee

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