For those have not heard the news, Shintaro Tsuji, the owner, founder and driving force of Sanrio has stepped down as CEO and handed resigns to his grandson. Tomokuni Tsuji.
We have a lot to thank Mr. Tsuji for, but I feel the time for new blood has come, especially the missteps Sanrio took in closing down US retail business and over relied on big box stores like Target , Best Buy and Toys r Us to carry the load. The plan worked for a while until Target and Best Buy gave Hello Kitty the boot and replaced her with the next big thing. (out Hello Kitty: in Monster High.) In addition, the bankruptcy and liquidation of Toys r Us in the US did not help and poor service for Sanrio.com
Asahi Times Story
Well it had been a while before I had some Hello Kitty news.
First, up, it is not just Tiger Woods that had a comeback in 2019; Hello Kitty takes the top spot in Sanrio 34th Annual Sanrio Character Rankings. She beats out Cinnamonroll, who was last year’s winner.
Every year Sanrio polls it fans using the top 100 Sanrio characters. For the last few year s, Hello Kitty languished in the top 10, never making in the top three. I wonder Hello Kitty’s win has to do with becoming a popular virtual Youtuber. I dare say the Annual Sanrio Character Ranking is a barometer of Sanrio’s character Campaign, noting Yoshikitty taking third place last year coinciding with the band X Japan revival.
The second piece of news is Mattel obtaining license to manufacture toys games and others items base on Sanrio’s portfolio of characters. This will start in 2020, just in time for the Hello Kitty Movie and possible TV show. This good thing; I hope this will bring a higher quality to Sanrio’s toy and game offerings.
It been reported the Toys R Us are shutting down all their stores, even though and investor as trying to buy up the stores. The short answer what went wrong is in a down trending market, Toys R Us decided to go private and over leveraged its self with debt used in the buyback The problem with leveraged buy outs is they do not work. Toys R Us soon found itself unable to service it debt and eventually went bankrupt.
One may ask what does this have to do with Sanrio and Hello Kitty. Toy R US has to do with Sanrio grand plan to rely big box stores, post closing all of their retail stores. The plan worked for a while, big box retail stores like Target, Best buy had carried Hello Kitty items, that is until the retails stores dropped Sanrio and gave the shelf space to the next big thing. That left Toys R Us as the only reliable seller of Hello Kitty, even though I felt it was a lower quality that what Sanrio stores carried. Now with the sinking of Toys R Us where that leaves Sanrio in the United States? Perhaps Sanrio can admit they made a huge mistake.
Akab News 1 Apr 2018.
Don’t call Hello Kitty a Girl. Sanrio announces release of Gender Fluid and Gender Neutral collaboration. The initial release will feature Hello Kitty. “It is a known fact Hello Kitty does not have a mouth because they want people to “project their feelings onto the character” and “be happy or sad together with Hello Kitty. We are taking the next step in allow people to self identify Hello Kitty’s gender in a wide range of the gender spectrums. We are appealing to today gender reality and sensitivity. “, quote a spokes person for Sanrio.
Most LGBT activist approve of Sanrio bold move while a few Gay and lesbian and feminist groups criticize about pandering to “That group”. Gender Neutral releases of other characters including Batz Maru, My Melody will follow.
SANRIO, best known for global icon Hello Kitty® and home to many more endearing characters including Chococat®, My Melody®, and Keroppi®, is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. August 2010 marks the golden anniversary for the worldwide lifestyle brand that was founded on the “small gift, big smile®” philosophy – that a small gift can bring a big smile to people of all ages. Today, over 50,000 Sanrio-branded items are sold in over 70 countries around the world, please visit www.sanrio.com.