While China’s retail market grows by an incredible 18% monthly, foreign companies still find ways to screw up their entry (via @chinahearsay).The Motley Fool’s Dan Radovsky highlights several U.S. companies that failed to do their homework. Starting with Mattel:
Mattel came on way too strong in Shanghai in March 2009, when it opened its 36,000-square-foot pink shrine to Barbie, the iconic American doll. The company hoped to capitalise on the hoopla surrounding Barbie’s 50th birthday and anticipated that the glitz would shore up the middle-aged doll’s glamour quotient and slipping sales appeal. Two years later, the company closed the store.
Mattel went wrong assuming that Chinese girls and their mothers would go gaga over the curvy blond doll. Barbie was just too over the top for Chinese sensibilities. Cute dolls are good; sexy dolls are creepy. Doing some homework here could have helped.
Other companies that screwed up include Best Buy, Home Depot and Walmart.f
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