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Monday, November 10, 1997 Published at 12:59 GMT


Spice sales not so hot

Could this be the end of success for the Spices?

The formidable money making machine that is the Spice Girls may be showing the first signs of consumer fatigue.

Although their likeness now endorses products as diverse as snacks to perfume, the Spice Girls have just learned that their massively hyped new album has scored "unimpressive" first week sales in Britain.

[ image: They're everywhere]
They're everywhere
SpiceWorld shipped 1.4m copies, twice as many as any other album this year. But it actually sold less than 200,000 to achieve its number one slot in the charts this week.

Albums released by the rock band Oasis and the dance outfit Prodigy sold many more in the seven days after their launch.

"Retailers were obviously expecting better, although it is still a massive number one," says Tony Brown, a writer for trade magazine Music Week.

The group has been at the centre of a marketing blitzkrieg, signing up to endorse products all over the world.

[ image: How many spice products can you fit in your trolley?]
How many spice products can you fit in your trolley?
The latest campaign sees girl power being linked to the UK supermarket chain, Asda, in a deal reported to be worth £1 million. Analysts say the Spice Girls will earn more than £300 million from their marketing efforts this year with a possible £3 billion by the end of the century.

The group's strategy is in doubt, however, after the sudden sacking of their manager, Simon Fuller. He has been frank about his plans to go for broke while the group are at the pinnacle of their fame and worry about overexposure later.

The girls have not divulged the reason behind Fuller's dismissal and are now looking for a replacement.

The Spice Girls are due to meet the Queen at the Royal Variety Performance next month.

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