Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT), the leading global childhood play and development company, today announced a new strategic partnership with Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA), the world’s largest online and mobile commerce company. Leveraging Mattel’s iconic brands and expertise in play as well as Alibaba’s wealth of data and insights into the Chinese consumer base, the expanded partnership aims to re-shape the way parents in China think about play.
Alibaba Group’s unrivaled scale and data-driven approach to consumer insights will enable Mattel to tailor their market and product strategy. With more than 440 million active buyers across its e-commerce platforms, Alibaba is helping Mattel meet the ever-growing and changing needs of Chinese consumers with a strategic omni-channel approach spanning online-to-offline (O2O).
As part of this expanded collaboration, Mattel will not only be marketing and selling to China via Alibaba’s B2C marketplace Tmall.com, but also leveraging the company’s media ecosystem to develop and promote learning resources and educational content – inspired by Mattel’s beloved brands and characters – to help parents and families get the most out of play. Additionally, Mattel will be working with Alibaba’s A.I. Lab to develop new and innovative products, designed to aid child development through the use of cutting-edge technology and smart, interactive learning.
“Play has a tremendous impact on a child’s cognitive, social and emotional growth,” said Margo Georgiadis, CEO of Mattel. “By combining Mattel’s unmatched expertise in childhood learning and development, with Alibaba’s immense reach and unique consumer insights, our goal is to help parents in China raise children to be their personal best.”
“Alibaba empowers leading global brands to digitally transform their businesses and address the fast-changing Chinese consumer landscape,” said Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group. “We look forward to supporting Mattel’s growth through our robust data and commerce technology infrastructure, which will help to elevate their overall business from product development to brand-building to rural penetration for this unique and massive market.”
Ms. Georgiadis added, “The multi-billion dollar toy category in China is highly fragmented, with tremendous potential for growth. Working with Alibaba, we see a terrific opportunity to develop and lead the category.”
Mattel and Alibaba will begin product development immediately, with initial availability planned for mid-2017.