Star Wars is the new ‘it’ kid set to overtake Frozen as the merchandise of choice in the lead up to the festive season.
Discount department store Kmart expects to flog 45,000 light sabers by Christmas, priced at up to $79 a pop, and it’s still battling to keep up with demand for Star Wars lego.
The retailer said sales of the Star Wars figurines had well exceed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and Transformers, and according to Fairfax, Kmart corporate affairs GM Tracie Walker said sales would continue to ramp up as the launch date for the movie got closer.
“The sales will ramp up week on week in the run up to Christmas and as we get closer to the movie launch on December 17 with additional inventory and new lines hitting the shop floor in stationery, kids and kids apparel,” she said.
Retail analyst Brian Walker told Fairfax the huge appeal of Star Wars was driven by the fact that it presented an opportunity for both parents and kids to get on board.
“It’s about being a true believer but there’s also an interesting piece about how strongly retailers now rely on these events to drive sales,” he said.
“Event type marketing and campaigns continue to underpin the retail calendar and that’s really only happened in the last couple of years.”
And plenty of retailers are ensuring the hype stays alive, including Toys “R” Us and Target upping their anticipation levels with special midnight store openings and staff decked out in Star Wars costumes.
Target’s head of brands, licensing and trading management Belinda Symes said a lot of initial sales came from the collectors, and even before the Christmas chaos it had knocked Frozen off its pedestal.
“We are expecting December to be four times as big as September,” she told Fairfax. “Star Wars lego is already outselling the rest of our Lego.”
Star Wars, The Force Awakens hits the big screens on 17 December, with fresh merchandise appearing on shelves every week in the lead up.