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| 12 December, 2016

UAE's Majid Al Futtaim leisure and entertainment signs deal to bring American Girl brand to Middle East

UAE's Majid Al Futtaim leisure and entertainment signs deal to bring American Girl brand to Middle East
12 December 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.

-Ends-

Media Contact:
Taylyn Bush
Weber Shandwick
04 445 4222
MAFLeisure@webershandwick.com

The legal name of this company is “Majid Al Futtaim” and should not be shortened or replaced by an acronym to avoid confusion with another business entity.

Disclaimer: All facts and figures in this release are accurate at the time of issuance.

About Majid Al Futtaim

Founded in 1992, Majid Al Futtaim is the leading shopping mall, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

A remarkable business success story, Majid Al Futtaim started from one man’s vision to transform the face of shopping, entertainment and leisure to ‘create great moments for everyone, every day’. It has since grown into one of the United Arab Emirates’ most respected and successful businesses spanning 15 international markets, employing more than 33,000 people, and achieving the highest credit rating (BBB) among privately-held corporates in the Middle East.

Majid Al Futtaim owns and operates 20 shopping malls, 12 hotels and three mixed-use communities, with further developments underway in the region. The shopping malls portfolio includes Mall of the Emirates, City Centre malls and My City Centre neighbourhood centres, and also four community malls which are in joint venture with the Government of Sharjah. The Company holds exclusive rights to the Carrefour franchise in 38 markets across Middle East, Africa and Central Asia, and operates a portfolio of more than 160 outlets in 15 countries.

Majid Al Futtaim operates 194 VOX Cinema screens and 27 Magic Planet family entertainment centres across the region, in addition to iconic leisure and entertainment facilities such as Ski Dubai and iFly Dubai, among others. The Company is parent to the consumer finance company issuing 'Najm' and ‘Voyager’ credit cards, a fashion retail business representing international brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, AllSaints and lululemon athletica, and a healthcare business that operates City Centre Clinics. In addition, Majid Al Futtaim operates Enova, a facility management company, through a joint venture operation with Veolia, a global leader in optimised environment resource management. The Company also owns the rights to The LEGO Store in the Middle East and operates in the food and beverage industry through a partnership with Gourmet Gulf.

www.majidalfuttaim.com

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About American Girl®

American Girl® is a premium brand for girls and a wholly owned subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT, www.mattel.com), a creations company that inspires the wonder of childhood. Headquartered in Middleton, WI, American Girl offers an inspiring world of dolls, content, and experiences that nourish a girl’s spirit and help develop her strength of character. Best-selling lines include Truly Me™, Girl of the Year™, Bitty Baby™, WellieWishers™, and the classic historical character line BeForever™. The company sells products through its award-winning catalogue, on www.americangirl.com, and in its experiential U.S. retail stores. By inspiring girls to be their best, American Girl has earned the loyalty of millions and the praise and trust of parents and educators.

About Mattel
Mattel is a creations company that inspires the wonder of childhood. Our mission is to be the recognized leader in play, learning and development worldwide. Mattel’s portfolio of global consumer brands includes American Girl®, Barbie®, Fisher-Price®, Hot Wheels®, Monster High® and Thomas & Friends®, among many others. Mattel also creates a wealth of lines and products made in collaboration with leading entertainment and technology companies. With a global workforce of approximately 31,000 people, Mattel operates in 40 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations. Visit us online at www.mattel.com   

© Press Release 2016