A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (in the great state of New Jersey during the late 70’s) the following photo of me in a classic Mickey Mouse sweatshirt on the lap of Darth Vader was taken.
Sometime between then and now much has changed: a roughly $27 billion franchise was born; a $4 billion deal took place when Disney purchased Lucasfilm; and my hair cut no longer resembles the shape of Darth Vader’s helmet.
Star Wars fans and movie goers rejoice because in 6 months from now on December 18th, 2015, the highly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in theaters.
So why the significance of 12:01 A.M. on September 4th, 2015? Why does Toys R Us feature a live countdown clock to September 4th on their site and want you to know they are “Your Source for the Force?”
Well, there’s this.
According to Statistic Brain as of April 16th of this year, the Star Wars franchise has produced around $27 billion in revenue including $12 billion in toy sales. Back in 2007, Forbes reported the toy sales to be about $9 billion.
The dollar amounts are remarkable, but the opportunity for retailers and brands to connect with customers who built (and the customers who will continue to build) that number is where it gets interesting.
Disney Consumer Products announced retailers across the globe will have merchandise inspired by the movie for sale:
Toys, collectibles, books, apparel and more will hit shelves on September 4, 2015 at 12:01 a.m. with stores around the world opening their doors for a unique celebration of all things Star Wars.
September 4th is an opportunity for retailers and store associates to honor fans by knowing their stuff: the products, retailer exclusives, key dates, inventory, pricing, promotions, how to add ‘wow’ factor, and awareness of online and mobile offerings is a good start. So is training and empowering store employees to solve customer problems along the way.
PS: If you are interested in joining me for NY store visits on September 4th at major retailers for the midnight launch, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading.
Darth Vader helmet:
Revenue Chart by Statistic Brain:
Stock photo (c) jpgfactory via iStock by Getty Images
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