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American Girl will keep its corporate offices in Middleton

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American Girl Middleton corporate office

After announcing its intention to relocate its corporate offices to an new and unconfirmed location in Dane County last January, toy maker American Girl said Thursday the company will stay in Middleton. 

After announcing its intention last January to relocate to a new and unconfirmed location in Dane County, toy maker American Girl said Thursday the company will keep its corporate offices in Middleton. 

The move would have come sometime this year as American Girl has shifted to a fully remote-contact center and hybrid workplace amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the toy maker is leasing back 40,000-square-feet of its existing Middleton space – a 45-acre campus that includes two buildings totaling around 450,000-square-feet – to meet its present corporate workforce needs, spokesperson Julie Parks said in an email statement Thursday afternoon.

The company completed its plans, also announced last January, to consolidate its warehouse operations at its 400,000-square-foot DeForest Distribution Center, and across two other Mattel-owned spaces – a change that cut 55 Middleton jobs but created 40 new roles in DeForest. 

Since 1998, California-based toy company Mattel has owned American Girl, which has 12 retail stores across the nation that sell its popular dolls and other toy products. The toy maker was founded in 1986 by Pleasant Rowland.

"Of the 40 open positions, several are still available to fill," said Parks, adding that all impacted Middleton workers were invited to apply for openings in DeForest and throughout American Girl. "Transition assistance (or severance) was also available to eligible employees not seeking to reapply. No other areas of functions in Middleton were impacted by the consolidation."

As of January, American Girl had 338 staff members in Dane County, and 735 regular full-, part-time and seasonal workers across the U.S. 

The company leased back a part of its current building because the structure's buyer is commercial real estate investment company SARA, which made an agreement with the company to stay, she said.

"Going into the sale of the property, it was always possible that a potential buyer would need the entire space, which would have required us to find a new location," Parks said. "Eliminating the need to move our corporate offices saves enormously on time and resources and, of course, minimizes the disruption a larger move would cause our workforce. It's definitely a plus for the business and our staff." 


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