Happened across a tweet from the official American Girl Twitter account that said, "Hey Hershey, Pennsylvania... American Girl Outlet will be opening at Tanger Outlets, Hershey this August." (My bold.)
Whoa! I love American Girl from my youth when the brand got its start, but thought it was too dear a price, which is why I never owned a doll as a child. (Couldn't afford a ~$100 doll back then.) Nowadays, I simply think it's a nuts amount for a "doll" even though the actual price hasn't inflated that much. I tend to only shop the sales at American Girl and mainly online at that.
But an outlet store would get my business, providing it was close enough to visit without too much hassle and actually had good deals. I'm not driving to Hershey, PA in a few days merely to check. (August is nearly upon us.) But I perhaps this means that other outlet stores will be opened --- and one could be within my shopping area. We do have Tanger Outlets within an hour's drive...in case American Girl is looking at an ongoing partnership with this particular management company for future expansion.
UPDATE: Sent a reply tweet to inquire whether other Outlet stores were planned and received the reply, "At this time, this will be our only outlet store..."
Still, it's an interesting development, because I also saw a news headline yesterday that stated Mattel (the American Girl parent company) was due to layoff 2000 odd employees. Granted, I didn't click-through to read the full article and, of course, Mattel owns quite a few brands nowadays, so who knows which ones are considered underperforming, but if your parent company is starting "massive" layoffs and your brand is opening its first outlet store, it's curious.
I hope this is not a death knell for the American Girl brand. I haven't always agreed with what Mattel has done with American Girl since the company bought out the original owner/creator, but I sorta assumed the brand would continue to exist...