Wal-Mart launches Barbie wear in Canada

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MISSISSAUGA, Ontario--Wal-Mart Canada's unique line of Barbie clothing for young girls has surpassed the chain's predictions after just two weeks on the shelf and with no traditional advertising support. Mississauga-based Wal-Mart won't discuss numbers, but the No. 1 retailer says the line for girls aged three to six featuring Mattel's best-known brand is driving traffic in its 154 stores Canada-wide.

"We are finding that already customers are going to Wal-Mart as a destination for the line," says spokesman Andrew Pelletier.

Wal-Mart's Barbie line is exclusive to Canada for now but it could eventually make its way into the retailer's other markets. "We often share merchandising ideas," says Mr. Pelletier. Householder flyers, in-store signage and in-store "Wal-Mart Radio" announcements for the Barbie line are handled in-house. No other efforts are planned. Publicis-SMW, Toronto, handles the retailer's TV ads, which feature real-life Wal-Mart shoppers.

Copyright June 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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