American Girl Will Move And Experiment With Its Store In NYC, ‘Evolve As A Total Brand’

Image courtesy of Texas.713

Visiting an American Girl Doll store is an amazing bit of “experiential retail,” which is a thing that people actually say. The stores offer a historical fiction and a highly customizable world designed around school-age girls. The company’s flagship store in Manhattan is at the end of its lease, and is moving to a space in Rockefeller Center that will be even more easily found by tourists. It will include a “media studio,” massive party rooms, and other features for an immersive brand-centric experience.


All of this is in addition to the things that you expect to find in an American Girl store, which include a restaurant where your doll can sit at the table with you (you can borrow a doll to hang out with if you didn’t bring yours), beautifully arranged and lit displays, outfit-designing tablets, and lots of retail space where you can buy all of those custom-designed outfits and beautifully arranged and lit items. Oh, yes, and a salon. In the new store, they will experiment with having hair stylists for girls as well as dolls.

The company plans to use the newly designed New York store as a lab for new store features. “It really is our store of the future,” the company’s senior VP of global retail explained to Racked, “and from this one, we will evolve our other stores over time.”

I wondered how the “designing outfits using a tablet” part works, and found a video of it on YouTube.

Speaking of videos, one trend that the new store wants to serve is AGSM, or American Girl Stop-Motion, where animators create films using the 18″ dolls as free-standing puppets. That means that fans are creating their own long-form ads for the brand and uploading them to YouTube, and the company wants to encourage it. They plan to have in-store AGSM workshops.

Before you go off looking, yes, this is an actual thing, and here’s a short example:

American Girl Is Debuting the ‘Store of the Future’ [Racked]

All Dolled Up: The Enduring Triumph of American Girl [Racked]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.