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First Look: American Girl's 'store of the future' opens

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American Girl has unveiled its new retail concept, which puts a big emphasis on customization — even letting girls design their own dolls.

Located at Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan, the 37,000-sq-ft. American Girl Place features the brand’s signature lineup of American Girl dolls and accessories. But it also boasts several new experiences, including a design studio where young girls can play doll designer, using an online feature that allows for personalization. In a collective workshop atmosphere, girls can design their own American Girl doll, choosing from more than one million possible design combinations. They can also create one-of-a-kind doll outfits and doll-sized products, which can be printed and taken home the same day.

In other features, there is a salon where girls and their American Girl dolls can get matching hairstyles, mini manicures, and even ear-piercing. Special packages are available with options for personalization.

In addition, the company’s award-winning movies and videos are showcased in an area called the “content hub.”

The flagship adds a new twist to the brand’s popular American Girl Cafe. Patrons can now customize birthday celebrations and other special events in the restaurant’s private dining rooms with personalized touches and digital projection features, thematic packages, and other amenities.

“Our new store celebrates the joy of girlhood — a place that nourishes a girl’s spirit and fosters her strength of character,” said Katy Dickson, president of American Girl, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mattel.

American Girl Place was designed by FRCH Design Worldwide, Cincinnati.

"We looked at evolving the storyline within a true destination experience to embrace all aspects of American Girl in a relevant and engaging way for today girls," commented Robyn Novak, VP and creative managing Director at FRCH. "American Girl has a long history of delivering memorable experiences for girls of all ages. The new store design celebrates that special moment when each girl starts to create her very own story with American Girl that will last for a lifetime."
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