American Girl Doll Hit By Recession

Filed under: In The News, Toys

american girl doll

What will happen to our favorite dolls? Credit: Corbis

They've been called the anti-Bratz dolls, promoting a spirit of adventure and taste of history in their young owners. But now, the American Girl dolls may be teaching their good little consumer fans a lesson about sweeping job losses and reshuffling family budgets.

American Girl, a division of Mattel Inc., announced earlier this week it is cutting staff -- almost 25 jobs at its Middleton, Wis. headquarters, a nearby distribution center and retail stores in Los Angeles. An additional 30 employees were eliminated in recent years at the Wisconsin factory, according to The Chicago Tribune.

The company also plans to end a job-sharing program –- resulting in another 22 jobs lost -- with John Deere Financial in Madison, Wis. this summer, the newspaper reports.

American Girl's revenues were up 5 percent in 2010 over the previous year, and rose 8 percent in the fourth quarter, according to earnings reported in February by parent company Mattel, the Tribune reports.

"All of our stores continue to perform well," company spokesperson Julie Parks tells the Tribune. But costs for labor, commodities and overhead are rising faster for Mattel overall, she says.

More than 18 million American Girl dolls have sold since 1986; 132 million books have been purchased and there have been 33 million visits to retail stores, according to the company website.
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