【英语中国】分析:芭比不服中国水土?

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所属分类:双语中国

2011-3-12 00:25

小艾摘要: “Barbie is popular everywhere but when you go to Shanghai, mothers there are so passionate about her.” – That’s what Richard Dickson, Barbie’s general manager said ahead of opening a 6-floor flag ...
“Barbie is popular everywhere but when you go to Shanghai, mothers there are so passionate about her.” – That’s what Richard Dickson, Barbie’s general manager said ahead of opening a 6-floor flagship store in downtown Shanghai.

But Shanghai mothers’ passion, it seems, didn’t translate into sales. On Monday morning the vast Barbie store closed its doors, becoming the latest foreign retailer to hit the rocks in China.

According to Bloomberg, Barbie’s parent – Mattel – did not give a reason for the closure, and promised that this was certainly not the end of Barbie in China.

'“Mattel continues to be committed to developing the Barbie brand in China,” the company said in the statement. “In 2011, the company will take all of the great experiences previously only available at the Barbie concept store in Shanghai to many more consumers in broader areas across China.”'

The move comes hot on the heels of Best Buy’s decision to abandon its branded stories in China, while Home Depot beat a retreat from the Chinese market in January.

But Barbie’s closure perhaps won’t come as much of a surprise to those following the fortunes of Mattel’s most famous marque. Sales targets were lowered over a year ago, as visitors failed to turn into renminbi at the cashier’s desk, and then failed to turn up altogether.

Retail experts saw the writing on the wall a while ago. Shaun Rein from the China Market Research Group foretold Barbie’s failure on Forbes.com over a year:

'Barbie made the mistake of paying too little attention to local consumer tastes. Chinese women tend to like cutesy, girlish pink clothes (think Hello Kitty), not the sexy and skimpy kind Fields designed. Odd as it sounds, Snoopy-branded clothes, cartoon logos and all, are hot sellers for women entering the white-collar workforce.'

He also pointed to pricing problems (i.e. things were too expensive) and the fact that big flagship stores don’t benefit from existing footfall – unlike setting up shop in one of Shanghai’s big glossy malls.

Blogger Christine Tan – who muses on China at Shanghai Shiock! – blamed the store’s ‘terrible location, terrible storefront, lack of strong interest in Barbie in China, and the fact that the shop soon felt like a ghost town’.

Media Markt, watch out.

“芭比娃娃在任何地方都享有极高人气,但当你去上海时,那里的母亲对她简直是爱不释手。”——这是芭比娃娃(Barbie)的总经理理查德?迪克森(Richard Dickson)在上海市中心一家6层楼的旗舰店开张前夕说的话。

可是,上海母亲的珍爱,似乎没有转化为销售额。周一上午,这家规模庞大的芭比旗舰店关门停业,成为最新一家在中国触礁的外国零售商。

据彭博社(Bloomberg)报道,芭比娃娃所属的美国美泰公司(Mattel)没有提供该店关门的原因,同时承诺称,这肯定不是芭比娃娃在中国的终点。

“美泰将一如既往地致力于芭比品牌在中国市场的发展,”该公司在声明中表示。“2011年,公司将把在芭比上海概念店获取的优秀经验,带给中国更广阔地区的更多消费者。”

芭比上海旗舰店关门之前不久,百思买(Best Buy)决定放弃在中国的自有品牌门店,而家得宝(Home Depot)已在1月份退出中国市场。

但是,对那些追踪美泰最知名品牌兴衰的人士来说,芭比上海旗舰店的关门或许算不上出乎意料。销售目标在一年多以前就被下调,因为逛店的人流未能转化为营业收入,后来甚至连逛店的人都少了。

零售业专家早已看出情况不妙。中国市场研究集团(China Market Research Group)的雷小山(Shaun Rein)在一年多前,就在福布斯网站(Forbes.com)上预言了芭比的失败:

“芭比娃娃犯了一个错误:对当地消费者品味关注得太少。中国女士倾向于喜爱娇媚、少女般的粉红色衣服(就像Hello Kitty),而不是Fields所设计的性感、暴露类型。听上去也许有点奇怪,但Snoopy品牌的服装、卡通标识等等,竟然深受进入白领阶层的女士的欢迎。”

雷小山还指出了定价问题(东西卖得太贵),以及大型旗舰店不能得益于现有的客流量(不像在上海某个大型时尚购物中心开店)这一事实。

在Shanghai Shiock!网站上发表中国生活感想的博主Christine Tan怪罪芭比旗舰店“糟糕的地点、糟糕的店面、中国对芭比娃娃缺乏浓厚兴趣,以及该店开张不久后感觉就像是一个鬼城”。

Media Markt,该留心了。

译者/和风

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