Majid Al Futtaim Leisure and Entertainment Signs Deal to bring American Girl to the Middle East

12 Dec 2016

First store of premium brand for girls scheduled to open in 2017

Dubai, UAE: Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall developer, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East and North Africa today announced that it has secured an exclusive retail agreement with American Girl®,  a division of Mattel, Inc. and a premium brand for girls known for its high-quality doll, content, and unforgettable experiences.

American Girl's proprietary retail stores, such as this one in Chicago (nb: 360° video content), have welcomed over 80 million visitors, won numerous awards and are recognised as premiere models for experiential retail.

The announcement sees Majid Al Futtaim Leisure and Entertainment, the leisure arm of Majid Al Futtaim, continue to expand its portfolio in bringing unique family entertainment offerings to the region, through a franchise agreement with the retailer. The iconic US brand will further bolster Majid Al Futtaim’s growing and diverse collection of internationally-renowned brands including LEGO®, lululemon athletica, AllSaints and Abercrombie & Fitch.

The deal also encompasses Majid Al Futtaim being awarded exclusive distribution rights in the UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman, spanning bricks and mortar retail, airport-based retail and e-commerce.

The first American Girl store in the UAE is slated to open in 2017 and will feature engaging and immersive retail experiences, like the popular Doll Hair Salon and an on-site restaurant, as well as all of the latest product offerings – from the signature American Girl dolls, outfits, and accessories to the company’s best-selling books for girls.

It is this expertise in innovation and experiential retail that, Damien Latham, Chief Executive Office of Majid al Futtaim Leisure and Entertainment, says helped Majid Al Futtaim stand out as the go-to premium operator to bring the partnership to life.

“We are delighted to announce that we will be bringing American Girl’s first retail offering to shoppers in the region. For us American Girl is such an iconic brand, with such a clear personality and inspiring vision that marries perfectly with our ethos. This makes us extremely excited to think about what the future holds for the partnership as we begin to solidify the brand’s presence across the GCC.

What differentiates us from the competition is that we’re able to offer attractive solutions for both retailers and consumers. We provide sought-after store locations for retailers through our extensive mall property portfolio, and consumers can enjoy a multifaceted retail experience across a range of platforms, from online to airports; as we tailor our retail offering to meet our shopper’s needs. This allows us to further cement our vision to deliver great moments to everyone, every day.”

Having sold nearly 30 million American Girl dolls since it was founded in 1986, the brand has attracted a dedicated international audience through offering an inspiring world of dolls, content, and experiences aimed at young girls.

“For 30 years, American Girl has been celebrating and encouraging girls to be their best with high-quality dolls and relevant characters, plus engaging books and entertainment,” said Katy Dickson, president of American Girl. “We’re thrilled to expand American Girl into the Middle East and bring our universally relevant mission—to be a trusted partner in building girls of strong character—to more girls, in more places. We’re equally excited to partner with the country’s leading shopping mall and retail pioneer Majid Al Futtaim to bring the American Girl experience to a whole new audience of girls and their families.”

Inspired by girls, American Girl is proud to feature one of the most inclusive and diverse selections of dolls, providing a level of choice that is unmatched elsewhere. From the beginning, American Girl’s goal has been to create dolls and stories that act as both mirrors and windows—giving girls an opportunity to see a direct reflection of themselves or a chance to learn about a life or culture that may be very different from their own.