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Exterior of American Girl Place - Chicago.

American Girl Place (also called American Girl Stores) is the name used for physical retail locations where American Girl products can be purchased in person.

Originally, American Girl Place was the name for the three largest American Girl stores in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles (which are also called the Flagship stores). The other stores were initially referred to as American Girl Boutique and Bistro[1], while international outlets were referred to as American Girl Specialty Boutique, and pop-up stores were referred to as American Girl Temporary Boutique.

Stores are generally referred to by location, generally the largest major city in the area; e.g. American Girl D.C. is located in McLean, Virginia, but less than a half hour by car to the US Capitol, considered the center point of the District of Columbia.

Each store has well-decorated displays of dolls, outfits, accessories and items and purchases can be made directly. Patronage is marketed by the company as an "experience" rather than as a regular retail store visit.

Due to the coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic, in March 2020 all stores temporarily closed until further notice to protect both employees and purchasers. Starting in mid May, locations began reopening with limitations and changes in displays; however, some locations had to re-close due to spike of infections in the area and regulation lock-downs. Several offer contact-less curbside pickup.

Available Activities

Along with on-site shopping and the ability to see products on direct display, other activities are available.

Cafe: Stores with bistros available serve brunch, lunch, tea, and dinner[2]. The menus are preset; Seattle was the exception with an a-la-carte menu. A person who brings a doll is offered a Treat Seat to prop their doll up at the table with them; if a doll has not been brought, there are loaner dolls that can be used.[3]

AG Denver and Kansas City were not built with cafes. In February 2018, AG Seattle and Scottsdale closed the bistros to regular meal dining and no longer have food service; however, they still provided small refreshments and cake during birthday parties, with options to order delivered pizza.[4]

American Girl released a doll-sized version of the cafe as the Day at the AG Cafe Set in 2021.

Personal Shopper: Personal shoppers are store employees that allow a person to shop in personal comfort. Employees can bring items to customers and open items freely, and a separate register in a secluded area allows purchases to be made without having to wait in line. Many personal shoppers can give extra "gifts" as well. Booking can be done in advance at Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis (until closure), and New York, with specific private shopping spaces.

Other locations offer some degree of shopping assistance in their stores, but they do not have a private room available or specific personal shoppers.

American Girl Hospital: If a doll needs to be sent to the American Girl Hospital, she can be sent out from the store at no shipping cost.

Doll Salon and Personal Salons: Doll can have hair styled, receive cleaning, have their nails painted with water-soluble nail polish, and get additions such as on-site piercing or the application of hearing aids. These services can only be done with authentic American Girl dolls; American Girl will explicitly not perform any salon services on dolls outside the brand.

In flagship locations and some boutiques, side salons offer purchasers hair styling, manicures, and ear piercing (using an piercing gun rather than needles).

American Girl Exclusives: Each location has exclusive items that can only be purchased in the stores. These mostly consist of specific clothing and accessories for dolls as well as items that are used at the locations. Many shirts have the name of the stores on them. See the List of American Girl Place Items.

Party Hosting: On-site parties be hosted for a length of ninety minutes. Parties include cake, ice cream, meals (if bistros are present at the location), party activities and crafts, and offered treat bags for either 18" dolls, WellieWishers, Bitty Baby, or the current Girl of the Year (the last of these being for Gabriela McBride.). They take place in a private dining room as a Deluxe party, or more open spaces in bistros or selected store spaces for a lower fee.

Denver and Kansas City originally offered after-hours parties which took place in the store, as there is no bistro; later after-hours parties were not held and all parties were held in a separate section of the store. Seattle and Scottsdale offered cake, ice cream, and activities; they could also include pizza purchased and delivered for an additional fee. Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York offer after-hours parties.

At-Home Celebration Kits: Starting in 2020, select locations started to offer at-home celebration kits. For $20 per guest (for two to twenty guests), purchasers receive a cake to go; digital invitations; themed goody bags, crafts, and doll crown, cup and saucer for each guest; and crown and gift for the child. Purchasers set a pickup time and date.

Hosted Events: Occasionally, activities will be advertised as extra experiences; these are mostly small craft activities or paid events based on lines, and some have been hosted or offered in the cafes as an add on to the dining room experience. Some stores with connections to local theaters or performances will set up events that include tickets to the performances.

Limited and Exclusive Giveaways and Launch Parties: Launch Parties for new released characters (such as Girl of the Year) or product launches and relaunches (such as BeForever, Truly Me, or WellieWishers) often include launch celebrations for the first three to four days of the release. Activities and exclusive item giveaways (often clothing or accessory items that fit an 18" doll) are frequently included to help advertise the new items.

Truly Me Signature Studio: Released with the launch of Truly Me. Custom doll-sized outfits, girl's shirts, and doll carriers can be designed and made in the store via a tablet computer. The outfits are printed on cloth. This is exclusively available in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles, as well as part of the Create Your Own experience.

Former Available Activities

Live Theater: A theater show was available in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles in 150-seat theatres, for additional cost of $25. Shows included American Girls Revue, Circle of Friends, and Bitty Bear's Matinee: The Family Tree. The theaters were all removed in 2008.

Photo Studio: A picture could be taken by visitors in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles, which was then modified to look like an American Girl Magazine cover. In 2015, the Photo Studios in all three flagship stores were permanently closed.[5]

Creativi-tees: T-shirts that could be made in the store. Shirts were offered in doll and children's (7-20) sizes in pink and white, and a light blue that was discontinued early on. Children's t-shirts were short-sleeved with a small square space for applying the decal, while doll tees could be short or long-sleeved. Purchasers were able to choose from twenty variant decal designs that changed regularly, and could observe the design being pressed onto the shirt. This was not available in Los Angeles. Creativi-tees started to be phased out in Summer 2017, in anticipation of the Create Your Own system of design.

Hotel Partnerships

Selected partner hotels, listed on the store website, offer special rates for those who book in relation to going to the store. A special package of a fold-out hotel bed (similar to the modern fold-up chair) may be added to the purchase. Partnering hotels are generally in very close radius to the store.

American Girl Place (Flagship Stores)

The largest three American Girl stores--also called "flagship stores"--are generally large multi-floor planned stores. Along with all the offered amenities, AG Places include dioramas of historical and BeForever characters, extra bistros, larger window and diorama displays, inventory unavailable at other locations, in person Create Your Own stations, and other unique amenities.

"Cubed" Historical characters were initially only available for physical purchase at flagship stores, but later became available at multiple locations.

Chicago, IL: The first American Girl Place opened in Chicago, Illinois, on November 19, 1998; the store later moved to Water Tower Place in 2008. This was the first time any American Girl items could be purchased new directly from a walk-in location.

New York, NY: A second store was opened in New York City, New York, in 2003. The store was later relocated to Rockefeller Center in November 2017.

Los Angeles, CA: A third store was opened in the Grove in Los Angeles, California, in 2006.

American Girl Boutiques and Bistros

Exterior of American Girl Seattle (open from 2011 to 2021).

In Fall 2007, two American Girl Boutiques and Bistros started opened, starting a trend of smaller stores in some locations. These are permanent store locations and, while generally considered anchor stores, generally take up less retail space than the three flagship stores.

Dallas, TX: American Girl Dallas was opened in 2007 at the Galleria.

McLean, VA: American Girl Washington DC was opened in 2011 at Tysons Corner Center.

Houston, TX: American Girl Houston was opened in 2012 at Memorial City Mall.

Miami, FL: American Girl Miami was opened in 2012 at The Falls.

Columbus, OH: American Girl Columbus was opened in 2013 at Easton Town Center.

Palo Alto, CA: American Girl San Francisco was opened in 2013 at the Stanford Shopping Center.

Orlando, FL: American Girl Orlando was opened in 2014 at The Florida Mall.

Charlotte, NC: American Girl Charlotte was opened in 2014 at Southpark Mall.

Franklin, TN: American Girl Nashville was opened in 2015 at CoolSprings Galleria.

Closed Boutiques and Bistros

Starting in 2018, several locations started closing permanently. Reasons vary per location.

Alpharetta, GA: American Girl Atlanta was opened in 2007 at the North Point Mall. In July 2020 American Girl announced the location's permanent closure due to non renewed lease; due to pandemic closing, the location did not reopen after March closures.[6][7]

Natick, MA: The American Girl Boston was opened in 2008 at Natick Collection. The location closed in March 2019 due to financial situations and an unrenewed lease.[8]

Bloomington, MN: The American Girl Minneapolis was opened in 2008 at the Mall of America. The location closed in March 2019 due to financial situations and an unrenewed lease.[8]

Lone Tree, CO: American Girl Denver was opened in 2010 at Park Meadows. This store did not have a bistro. In July 2020 American Girl announced the location's permanent closure due to non renewed lease; due to pandemic closing, the location did not reopen after March closures.[6]

Overland Park, KS: American Girl Kansas City was opened in 2010 at Oak Park Mall. This store did not have a bistro. In July 2020 American Girl announced the location's permanent closure due to non renewed lease; due to pandemic closing, the location did not reopen after March closures.[6]

Lynnwood, WA: American Girl Seattle was opened in 2011 at Alderwood Mall. The bistro was the only one that offered items à la carte; in 2018 the cafe was closed to casual dining and no longer served foods outside of birthday party treats.[4] In 2021 the store announced its closure after ten years in operation due to rising location costs, with the final day of operation in February 2021.

Chesterfield, MO: American Girl St. Louis was opened in 2012 at Chesterfield Mall. The location closed in February 2018 due to mall property issues. [9]

Scottsdale, AZ: American Girl Scottsdale was opened in 2015 at Scottsdale Quarter. In 2018 the cafe was closed to casual dining and no longer served food outside of birthday treats.[4]. The location was shuttered in September 2020 and did not reopen post COVID-19 closures.[10]

American Girl Outlet

See more: American Girl Outlet Store

There have been two outlet stores. The first was located in Oshkosh, WI from 2002 until 2016. The second outlet store was located in Hershey, PA, from 2018 to 2021.

Temporary Boutiques

Temporary Boutiques were pop-up stores from 2014 to 2017, either for American Girl to test potential support for a permanent store within the United States and reach out to new areas[11] or to offer short-term local purchasing during the holiday season in an area not as easily served by another location. Unlike the Boutiques and Bistros, Temporary Boutiques did not always offer the full salon experience (hair styling, ear piercing, hearing aids, and spa treatments) or personal shopping. Temporary Boutiques also did not carry the full lineup of available merchandise.[11]

Recurring Boutiques

Indianapolis, IN: American Girl Indianapolis has opened boutiques at several different locations.

  • Castleton Square Mall, running from October 2015 to January 2016, and again in July 2016 to January 2017.
  • The Fashion Mall at Keystone, running from August 2017 to January 2018.

Novi, MI: American Girl Detroit opened a boutique at Twelve Oaks Mall running from August 2016 to January 2017, and again from July 2017 to January 2018.

Raleigh, NC: American Girl Raleigh opened a boutique at Crabtree Valley Mall running from October 2016 to January 2017, and again from July 2017 to January 2018.

Portland, OR: American Girl Portland has opened boutiques at several different locations.

  • Pioneer Place, running from October 2015 to March 2016.
  • Washington Square Mall, running from August 2016 to January 2017, and again from September 2017 to January 2018.

Pittsburgh, PA: American Girl Pittsburgh opened a boutique at Ross Park Mall running from September 2016 to January 2017, and again from October 2017 to January 2018.

Murray, UT/Salt Lake City, UT: American Girl Salt Lake City has opened boutiques at several different locations.

  • The Fashion Place (Murray, UT), running from October 2015 to January 2016.
  • City Creek Center (Salt Lake City, UT), running from September 2017 to January 2018.

One-Time Boutiques

Honolulu, HI: American Girl Hawaii (referred to as the Honolulu boutique, during its tenure) was opened as a temporary boutique at Ala Moana Center, running from October 4, 2014, to April 2015.[12]

San Diego, CA: American Girl San Diego opened a boutique at the Fashion Valley Mall running from October 2015 to January 2016.

Mission Viejo, CA: American Girl Orange County opened a boutique at The Shops at Mission Viejo running from November 2015 to January 2016.

Glendale, CA: American Girl Glendale opened a boutique at The Americana at Brand running from October 2015 to February 2016.

Las Vegas, NV: American Girl Las Vegas opened a boutique at the Fashion Show Mall running from October 2015 to February 2016.

Philadelphia, PA: American Girl Philadelphia opened a boutique at King of Prussia Mall running from September 2016 to January 2017.

San Antonio, TX: American Girl San Antonio opened a boutique at The Shops at La Cantera running from August 2016 to January 2017.

Austin, TX: American Girl Austin opened a boutique at The Domain running from August 2017 to January 2018.

Specialty Boutiques

American Girl Specialty Boutiques are international outlets located outside of the United States. Unlike the Boutiques and Bistros, Specialty Boutiques are located within an already-established store; as licensee locations they are not considered a standalone store in their own right. (The Dubai and Manama stores were the exceptions as they functioned similarly to the Kansas City and Denver boutiques as standalone stores.) For the purposes of this section, multiple Specialty Boutiques located within the same city or metropolitan area will be given the appellation of American Girl (City name) (Store location).

Due to space constraints as well as legal restrictions on items (e.g. Canada's language laws mean that only items with bilingual English/French packaging may be sold), these stores have a smaller selection and often only carry a few characters and some items from their collections.

Currently the only countries with active stores are Canada and Bahrain.

Canada

In Canada, bookstore chain Chapters-Indigo has partnered with American Girl to host Specialty Boutiques in their stores. Canadian stores carry limited collections. This generally consists of a small group of BeForever and Historical Characters (others can be ordered online through Chapters-Indigo but do not appear in stores; cubed characters are not available through Chapters-Indigo at all), a limited selection of Truly Me dolls, the current Girl of the Year, Bitty Baby, and WellieWishers, along with selected items from the collections of these dolls.

Toronto, ON: American Girl Toronto may refer to the following locations.

  • American Girl Toronto Yorkdale was opened in 2014 within Indigo Toronto at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre.
  • American Girl Toronto Eaton was opened in 2015 within Indigo Eaton at the Toronto Eaton Centre.
  • American Girl Toronto Sherway was opened in 2016 within Indigo Sherway Gardens at CF Sherway Gardens.[13] This boutique later downgraded to a Mini Shop in 2021 and is no longer listed on AG's site.

Vancouver, BC: American Girl Vancouver was opened in 2014 within Chapters Robson. In 2015, the Specialty Boutique was relocated to Chapters Granville following the closure of the Robson branch.[14]

Ottawa, ON: American Girl Rideau was opened in 2014 within Chapters Rideau.

Edmonton, AB: American Girl Edmonton was opened in 2015 within Chapters Edmonton at the West Edmonton Mall.

Calgary, AB: American Girl Calgary was opened in 2015 within Chapters Calgary at Chinook Centre.

Canada introduced American Girl Mini Shops in 2021. These have a smaller selection of items than regular boutiques or the Chapters-Indigo website. Locations include:

  • Alberta: Sherwood Park
  • British Columbia: Orchard Park (Kelowna), Mayfair (Victoria), Robson (Vancouver),[15] Langley
  • Ontario: Ancaster, Barrie, Bay and Bloor (Toronto), Sherway Gardens (Toronto; formerly full-sized American Girl Specialty Boutique), Square One (Missisauga), Conestoga Mall (Waterloo), Guelph, Hillcrest Mall (Richmond Hill), Innes (Orleans), Kitchener, Cambridge, Oshawa, Pinecrest (Ottawa)

Bahrain

Manama, Bahrain: American Girl Manama was opened in 2018 at City Centre Bahrain.

Former Locations

Mexico

Mexico City, Mexico: American Girl Mexico City collectively referred to the three Specialty Boutiques in Mexico City, all located within El Palacio de Hierro department stores. The Mexican boutiques were all opened in 2015 and closed in January 2018.[16]

  • American Girl Mexico Perisur was opened in 2015 at Centro Comercial Perisur and closed in 2018.
  • American Girl Mexico Interlomas was opened in 2015 at Paseo Interlomas and closed in 2018.
  • American Girl Mexico Polanco was opened in 2015 and closed in 2018.

United Arab Emirates

American Girl expanded to locations in the Middle East in 2017. While it was revealed in a press release the UAE stores would have a restaurant,[17] neither location website mentioned the presence of a restaurant or cafe. American Girl's dedicated website for the Middle East region also did not mention restaurants or cafes as a feature in the individual store pages. It was announced in 2020 that the Dubai stores had closed with no plans to reopen.

Dubai, UAE: American Girl Dubai collectively refers to the two stores opened in partnership with Majid Al Futtaim Leisure and Entertainment.

  • American Girl Dubai Mirdif was opened in 2017 at the City Centre Mirdif.
  • American Girl Dubai Emirates was opened in 2017 at the Mall of the Emirates.

Ordering from Stores

A person who does not live near an American Girl Place or Bistro can call customer service and may be directed to a personal shopper at the store and order items to be shipped to them. They may or may not have to pay taxes but will have to pay standard shipping costs. Many people do this for exclusives or when an item is retired; some stores have small stock of retired items when an item is no longer available for ordering at the website.

In Fall 2015, temporary kiosks were set up at various locations for customers to place orders as well for customers to facilitate quick purchases and holiday-only items.

Atlanta, GA: Perimeter Mall

Northbrook, IL: Northbrook Court

Minnetonka, MN: Ridgedale Center

Des Peres, MO: West County Center

Paramus, NJ: Garden State Plaza

Frisco, TX: Stonebriar Center

The Woodlands, TX: The Woodlands Mall

See Also

Links

References

  1. The locations in Denver and Kansas City were called American Girl Boutique as they had no bistro. The same was true of American Girl Seattle and Scottsdale starting in February 2018.
  2. Not all locations offer brunch.
  3. These were temporary removed as stores with bistros reopened during the coronavirus pandemic.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "American Girl cuts staff, including 21 positions in Wisconsin"; specifically: The other 36 job losses are in 10 of [American Girl]’s 20 retail stores, primarily in Scottsdale, Arizona, and in Seattle, where the bistros will end regular dining, Parks said. Jan 12, 2018. Accessed Feb 16th, 2018.
  5. Facebook statement, accessed January 30, 2015.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Colorado’s only American Girl store is closing after 10 years, accessed July 15, 2020. Also includes information about Kansas City and Atlanta.
  7. Georgia’s only American Girl store closes permanently, accessed Sept 22, 2020.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "American Girl store at Mall of America closing on March 20" accessed Jan 31st, 2019.
  9. St. Louis' only American Girl store, at Chesterfield Mall, closing next month, accessed Jan 5th, 2018.
  10. Bye-bye American Girl: Doll store shutters Scottsdale location, accessed Oct 2, 2020.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Twitter statement, dated October 7, 2015.
  12. American Girl opening first Hawaii store at Ala Moana Center next month, bizjournals.com, accessed September 12, 2014
  13. Indigo opens world's first cultural department store for booklovers and their friends at CF Sherway Gardens newswire.ca, accessed July 4, 2016.
  14. Indigo Optimizes Real Estate in Vancouver, newswire.ca, accessed January 21, 2015.
  15. This is not the same Chapters Robson that closed in 2015 but a new Indigo Robson which opened in 2018 in a different location on the same street. Indigo CEO talks the future of book stores, new Robson Street store
  16. American Girl cuts staff, including 21 positions in Wisconsin, Wisconsin State Journal, accessed February 5, 2018.
  17. Majid Al Futtaim brings American Girl to Middle East, accessed December 13, 2016.
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