Mattel Inc. seems to have figured how to sell online without alienating retailers. The latest: Mattel is providing a direct link to WalMart.com from HotWheels.com for customers who are viewing the Hot Wheels products at Mattel.com and wish to make a purchase. The site also features a link to ToysRUs.com. Last year, Mattel provided a link from Barbie.com to WalMart.com.
How manufacturers sell on the web has been a touchy issue since the beginning, as some manufacturers believed that the web allowed them to bypass retailers and sell direct to consumers. That strategy risked alienating retailers, however. Mattel still sells some HotWheels items online, but provides convenient links to WalMart.com and ToysRUs.com at the site.
"We are thrilled to provide our customers with this simple, new way to purchase the latest Hot Wheels toys and collectible die-cast vehicles, and strengthen our relationship with Wal-Mart," said Amy Boylan, senior vice president of Mattel`s Boys/Entertainment New Media Group. "Our visibility on Walmart.com will enable Hot Wheels fans to quickly find Hot Wheels products, and have purchase options."
The store will offer visitors an assortment of Hot Wheels products available both on-line and at Wal-Mart retail stores, while Walmart.com will receive targeted placements, including on the home page, for the Hot Wheels brand.