The Chinese launch of Barbie has crashed and burned, after the multi-million-dollar Barbie flagship store in Shanghai's most fashionable district had to close its doors for lack of business after just two years. Here's Ken Voigt from CNN with an expert's postmortem:
"Barbie spent a lot of money setting up a boutique in the most fashionable part of Shanghai, where you could go and have all of your Barbie needs met. You could have a fashion consultation, you could of course buy lots of Barbie dolls," said Karl Gerth, author of "As China Goes, So Goes the World: How Chinese Consumers Are Transforming Everything."
However, "they didn't think long and hard enough about whether Chinese girls wanted to look sexy or they wanted to look something closer to what you'd associate with Japan -- cute," Gerth added. "So Hello Kitty is doing well, but Barbie is an example of crash and burn."
What do Chinese consumers want? Not Barbie
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