Friday, August 10, 2018

Grand Opening Of The #AmericanGirl Outlet Store This Weekend! #MarketInsights #Hershey #TangerOutlets

According to a local (Philadelphia) news affiliate, a ticket will be required to access the American Girl Outlet Store this weekend during its Grand Opening. This is Pennsylvania's only American Girl Store and currently the first and only American Girl Outlet Store. Apparently, there's going to be a big celebration with special giveaways (for children), deals and crafts, etc.. A large crowd is expected. Though I abhor crowds, this is the sort of thing that could lure me out to a Brick & Mortar store ---a one of a kind event at a singular location. But as I'm not trekking to Hershey, PA this weekend, I'm hoping that those who are in attendance post tons of pictures. I'm looking forward to seeing what American Girl has up its sleeve for the long term viability of the brand and how it will handle an Outlet market.
American Girl Dolls (American Girl Store - Atlanta Display)
As the Grand Opening event has giveaways with the parenthetical "for kids only," this again made me marvel at American Girl turning a blind eye toward adult doll collectors. I still think it's mad (shortsighted) for American Girl to overlook adult doll collectors when holding promotional events and I'm not saying this because I'm an (newly minted) adult doll collector. My statement is based upon market observation. While the American Girl Dolls are aimed at children, specifically young girls, many of the brand's fans are not children or are no longer children. The American Girl Brand is now 30 odd years old. There are certainly fans who discovered it as a child and grew up adoring the brand as I did. Perhaps, these fans now share their interest in the brand with their own kids (or other young relatives). To exclude a large demographic from giveaways, events and other promotions basically says "we'll take your money, but we don't value you as a customer." Shunning customers doesn't usually end well, if you're a business.

By the way, I'm not advocating that American Girl open up Kids Events to adults. (This would not end well.) No, I think American Girl should establish adult only events and promotions. Have an American Girl Store Café Event aimed at adult doll collectors, for instance. I'd absolutely attend a "Meet the Doll Designer" Event, as another example. If carefully handled, joint adult/child events could also be held, something along the lines of "Mommy & Me plus Our Dolls," but I would start with the introduction of separate adult only events.

Other "Children's" brands do this sort of thing. These brands understand that the longevity of their brand is an asset. They expect their fans to grow up and introduce the brand to the next generation. In fact, they count on it. When American Girl debuted it redefined a genre of toys. Its longevity as a popular Doll Brand is an asset to be leveraged. Giving the adult fans of the brand promotional perks that are separate but equal to the Kids Events (crafts to make things for your doll, giveaway doll t-shirts, special sales, etc.) would encourage more sales while broadening and reshaping American Girl's market share. (The AG Rewards program is a start, but again, this is basically a "We'll take your money, but not really embrace you" sort of business move.)

Take heed American Girl: Embrace long term and recent adult customers or continue to flounder! (There are brand reorganization and reinvigoration rumors floating online as American Girl seeks to "return to its core" with a new president at the helm.) When a brand willfully leaves money on the table by making a sizable customer demographic feel less than welcome, then the brand shouldn't be surprised that its sales weaken over time. Underappreciated customers often take their business elsewhere.

1 comment:

  1. Today is the Day! Hopefully, someone will post pictures and give details.

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