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.
Aggretsuko is one of Sanrio latest Furry characters. She is a cute Red Panda, 25 years old, and a worker at a respected trading firm in Tokyo. She has to deal with a lot of office politics, a condescending boss, and backstabbing and annoying coworkers. When she reaches her limit, she lets off steam via death metal singing and karaoke. She is cute but definably not like Hello Kitty.
A Little misinformation if in the media that Aggretsuko is a boozer. This misinformation came from a screen shot from episode five of Aggretsuko shorts shown on YouTube. While no English sub existed, I could still get the gist. In this episode Aggretsuko was at the bosses after work party know in Japanese culture as a Nomikai. At the party, food and a communal bottle of beer are offered. Nomikai etiquette dictates no glass left empty and you do not fill your glass but you fill the glasses of others also, the lower rank worker serves the upper rank. In this case, the boss set off Aggretsuko by criticizing her for filling his glass with the beer label down. She fantasies insulting and defying the boss by guzzling the beer in front of him.
I think it is interesting how Sanrio is marketing Aggretsuko in Japan and the US. Most Sanrio characters start out like Hello Kitty; first being marked to the little Girls, then evolving the market to include Women and now for Hello Kitty to Men. In Aggretsuko case, she is marketed straight to adults. I feel she has a lot of potential worldwide represent the feelings of many over worked individuals and dealing with work place politics.
I spoke to soon in Episode 50 Aggretsuko get a little tipsy during a Cherry Blossom outing.
I replied to an older post about Sanrio in closing it stores has got me thinking. What is not widely reported was Sanrio was closing its company stores and pushing owner operators to buy back stores and run them as independent Sanrio stores. I know this true because I talked to the previous owner of the closed Washington Square store In Oregon. Sanrio wanted her to buy back the store , but at her age, she decided to retire instead.
Now two years later, I think the way Sanrio approached pulling out of the retail market was the wrong decision. They should had push spinning off the stores than outright closing them and relying on big retailers.