Skip to main content

‘Barbie’ movie helps energize retail sales

 It’s not only theatres that have benefitted from the “Barbie” movie phenomenon.  

The film, which has been out in theaters since July 21 and has past the $1 billion mark in ticket sales, has cast a wide net in turning things pink. Even in the weeks and months leading up to the movie’s release, it inspired a host of new product, marketing and selling opportunities, according to early retail sales information from Circana (formerly The NPD Group.)

Here's a look at some stats from Circana. Toy-Store Takeover (Source: Circana, Retail Tracking Service, U.S., week ending July 22, 2023)

•Barbie was the toy industry’s top growth property for the week. 

•Barbie took the top three spots in doll items the week the movie hit theaters.

 •The week the movie hit theaters, Barbie products accounted for six  of the top 10 doll items. Pink Lifestyle (Source: Circana, Consumer Tracking Service, U.S., 3 months ending June 202)

•In the cookware market, dollar sales of pink products grew 27% in the second quarter of 2023 compared to the year-ago quarter and 652% vs. the second quarter of 2019.*

Unit sales of pink sneakers for adults grew 15%.*  

Licensing Lessons (Source: Circana BookScan, U.S. print sales only) 

•Barbie licensed books’ sales value increased 53% in the second quarter of 2023 when compared to the first quarter of 2023, and up 44% compared to the second quarter of 2022.

“It takes a legend to get the consumer excited,” said Marshal Cohen, chief retail industry advisor for Circana. “The Barbie movie has created excitement that is spanning a host of industries as Barbie fans of all ages are showing their love well beyond the movie.

The tie-in to movies has been one of the big influences missing from retail, noted Cohen.

 “We are finally beginning to see blockbusters return from their pandemic absence,” he said. “The combination of star-power with new and exciting products is generating a passion to purchase.”

 The popularity of the Barbie movie also was a boon for shopping centers with theatres.  Halcyon, a 135-acre mixed-use development outside of Atlanta, reported that foot traffic was up 10% on the opening weekend of Barbie, compared to the same weekend the previous year.   

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds