Visitors to Mattel’s American Girl flagship stores in Chicago and New York City will find some new experiences to enjoy.
The experiential retail locations have been updated with new “retailtainment” features, including a doll hospital in both cities, a remodeled salon in Chicago, and a 1970s-themed experience centered around the popular Julie doll in NYC. The updates are among the new moves for the American Girl brand under the leadership of Jamie Cygielman, who joined the company as senior vice president and general manager earlier this year.
“For more than 20 years, since we opened our first American Girl flagship store, we’ve been creating engaging, interactive retail experiences for kids and their families,” Cygielman says. “These experiences are a key part of what connects American Girl doll owners with the brand, and the new doll hospitals, salon, and Julie’s Groovy World take that to the next level.”
The new American Girl doll hospitals offer free services, including a doll wellness exam with a specially trained doll doctor who checks the pulse, temperature, and reflexes of each 18-inch patient. The hospitals also feature free interactive play stations, where girls can perform doll eye exams, take doll-sized X-rays, and give a dental checkup.
Dolls in need of extra care can see an on-site doctor to schedule appointments with a specialist for more expensive doll repairs. Following each visit, kids will receive a complementary Certificate of Good Health, along with wellness tips for each doll.
In Chicago, the renovated American Girl Salon offers girls and their dolls matching hairstyles, mini manicures, and ear-piercing. The new salon includes four kid-sized hair stations, 12 doll hair stations, one nail drying station, and a full ear-piercing suite. The NYC location offers services for girls, but not dolls.
At the NYC store, Julie’s Groovy World is a brand-new experience that shows kids what growing up was like for Juli Albright in the ’70s. The location is brought to life with a decade-specific living area, complete with beaded curtains, an egg chair, rotary phone, and more. Kids can also shoot hoops at the Pop-A-Shot basketball game and snap selfies in a full-size Volkswagen Beetle.
Families can make reservations for experiences in NYC and Chicago, along with other American Girl store locations, via the official site.