Barbie Shines in Shanghai

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Fifty years after making her debut, Barbie finally has a flagship store — a pink and fuchsia wonderland in Shanghai. Opened this week, the store comes at a precarious time for the world’s favorite blond — who has seen her global sales slip by a sobering 21 percent over the past year.

Poor thing.

The new shop (above) will serve both as a premium Barbie retail point as well as a marketing and creativity lab for Mattel, Barbie’s parent company.

The high-wattage opening fete featured life-sized Ken and Barbie models prominently positioned among the shop’s six floors — which also includes a fashion “stage” as well as central spiral staircase filled with…what else…Barbie dolls.

Already the shop has emerged as a pilgrimage of sorts for stylish Shanghai-ites and is Mattel’s most aggressive attempt to secure the booming — though cooling — Chinese market.

Good luck!

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