Target Under Fire Over Black Barbie Doll

Updated on 12/10 at 4:50 p.m.: Target responded to our inquiry and here is its response: "It’s never our intention to offend our guests or our team members, and this is not something we take lightly. Both dolls should have reflected the same price and we have updated this error on our website. We had recently adjusted the price of the doll as a part of our regular competitive shopping. However, due to a technical error, the change didn't take effect across both dolls the way it should have. We’re now taking additional steps and putting enhanced processes in place to ensure that this doesn't happen again."
Original Post Published 12/10 at 12:00 p.m.: When Warren Johnson, a Cincinnati resident, set out to buy his daughter a Barbie for Christmas, he probably didn't expect to shell out twice as much for the Black version of the doll.
"Whats wrong with this picture?" he tweeted alongside a photo showing the price points of the two dolls. At the time, the Barbie Fashion Maker Doll was being sold for $23.49. Meanwhile, the Barbie Fashion Maker African-American Doll was being sold for nearly twice that at $49.99. The only difference between the two dolls was their respective skin tones; everything else, from the accessories to the outfit patterns, was the same.

So, what gives? Johnson told BuzzFeed News that he "really couldn't explain" why the Black doll cost more when his daughter asked. The site reports that Johnson's attempts to find an answer from local stores led him to call Target's corporate headquarters, where he was met with a "speechless" supervisor.
"She really didn’t have an explanation, and she was apologetic, and she told us that a change would be made. Then, she gave us the doll for the price that the white doll was,” Johnson said.
In a statement released to BuzzFeed News, Target blamed a "systems issue" for the discrepancy and said that "it is never our intention to offend our guests with our product assortment."
Photo: Courtesy of Mattel.
Both dolls are currently priced the same at $49.99 — the Black barbie's original, more expensive price point — with a buy-one-get-50%-off deal.

A call to a local Target here in New York found the price adjustments are reflected in store, as well. Meanwhile, a vendor on Amazon is still selling the black Barbie Fashion Maker Doll for twice the price of the white doll.

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