Piece By Piece: A Guide to Successful Accessories Sales
My cousin abruptly ended our recent telephone conversation saying that she had to run because she had an appointment to take her 5-year-old daughter to the American Girl store to have her Josefina doll's ears pierced. Curious, I went to the American Girl site and was floored by the sheer number of add-ons available to ensure that the doll is properly housed, clothed, fed and entertained.
You can buy everything from books about the history of each doll to a pet cat to a skin care kit for your American Girl doll. The perfect doll would be outfitted with her own luggage, bathtub, violin and designer glasses. My cousin told me that her daughter gets frequent special treats from American Girl because there's always some new accessory to add to her collection.
Retailer Build-a-Bear offers a similar selection of accessories for their made-to-order stuffed animals. Besides clothing, shoes, sports gear, purses and backpacks, and food, your child can spend endless hours playing a variety of Build-a-Bear games. I'm beginning to think that for American Girl and Build-a-Bear, the profits are not in their core product but in the thousands of accessories available with their dolls and stuffies.