With parents choosing to stock up on toys to keep children busy through the Covi-19 pandemic related school closures, Barbie hit sale figures of $1.35bn last year which was the highest for the company since at least 2014.
There was a 16 per cent growth in the sales of the doll globally which boosted the sales of the toymaker Mattel for the last year to attain its best since 2017.
During the pandemic, there were limits to the other forms of entertainment especially for children which made the period a good one for the toy industry.
Earlier this year, there was a significant strain in the supply chain of toy making companies because of the pandemic related surge in demand.
The company was ultimately able to meet the “extraordinary” increase in demand for its products, said the Chief executive Ynon Kreiz said the firm which is also the owner of brands such as Hot Wheels.
“Yes, the industry as a whole benefited from increased demand related to Covid, but we significantly outpaced the industry,” he said.
In contrast to Barbie, a 8 per cent slump in its sales for the full year of 2020 was reported last week by the firm’s arch rival Hasbro, which owns Nerf and board games such as Monopoly. Despite rising 4 per cent in the last quarter of 2020, the sale of Hasbro weakened for the entire year at about $5.4bn.
In comparison, there was a 2 per cent rise in the sales at Mattel last year to more than $4.5bn and was higher by 10 per cent in the last three months of the year, which includes the crucial Christmas season.
And compared to a loss of more than $200m in 2019, the company reported a profit were $126.6m in 2020.
With the aim of saving $250m by 2023, Mattel also announced a new cost-savings programme on Tuesday along with the annual and quarterly results.
The current cost cutting efforts of the company were broad, unlike its previous efforts in which the company had only restricted cost cutting to reducing the manufacturing footprint of the company, and included strategies for standardization of the global marketing strategies of the company and revamping the retail operations of American Girl, Kreiz said.
He declined to comment on specific job cuts. “It’s less about people and payroll and more about systems and processes,” he said.
(Adapted from BBC.com)