Coronavirus Takes Down Barbie: Mattel Sales Plunge 14%

Zombie Barbie
Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

Coronavirus hit Barbie and American Girl.

Toy-maker Mattel’s sales plunged 14 percent in the first three months of the year, the company reported Tuesday. The company reported a net loss of $210.7 million, or 61 cents per share.

Sales of dolls, which includes Barbie and American Girl sales, fell 11 percent. Barbie sales fell 10 percent.

Sales in the company’s infant, toddler, and preschool category fell 28 percent. Sales of Fischer Price and Thomas the Tank Engine were down 25 percent.

The company said that the closing of many retail outlets hurt sales, as did a turn by families toward games and crafting as the stay-at-home orders took hold.

“With families quarantined at home, parents sought out categories where we have a smaller presence,” Mattel said in a presentation for investors. Those included games, construction, arts and crafts, and outdoor categories.

Even though many stores that sell Mattel items are still open, families are not bringing kids on shopping trips as often. That likely has reduced “demand” for toys at places like Target and Walmart.

The company says it has nearly $500 million in cash after drawing on credit facilities to prepare for possible disruptions in financial markets.

Mattel also said its capital spending had increased principally because of timing of protective gear purchases.


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