The Wizarding World's Ollivanders may be coming to a mall near you
If you've been wanting to go to Ollivander's to find a wand, you might not have to book a trip to Universal Orlando or Universal Studios Hollywood to do it. The iconic wand shop from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter might be on its way to a mall nearer you.
Warner Bros. Consumer Products, which licenses Potter to the Universal theme parks, announced today that it has partnered with GES, producers of "Harry Potter: The Exhibition," to create "Christmas in the Wizarding World," a themed shopping experience that will launch this fall in "major shopping destinations."
"This fully themed holiday retail experience will be reminiscent of the setting and atmosphere of a wintry Hogsmeade village, complete with a wand shop, ornate window displays and interactive elements that are sure to be a hit with Harry Potter fans," Warner Bros. said in a press release.
In addition to an Ollivander's shop, where "guests will be able to experience a holiday surprise with the help of the Wandkeeper," the experience will feature a digital background photo op, featuring a choice of backgrounds from the Potter films, animated shop windows, and a large selection of Potter-themed merchandise, including house sweaters, stuffed owls, jewelry, collectibles, and sweets.
Potter fans have been able to find merchandise outside the Universal parks at Warner Bros.' studio stores in Burbank, Calif. and Leavesden in the United Kingdom, so this won't be the first time that Potter-themed shopping has moved outside the Universal parks. Warner Bros. has not announced the specific locations for the Christmas in the Wizarding World experience, promising that announcement "soon."
The Orlando natives that buy the most popular items from the parks and scalp them on eBay will not be happy.
I wonder if the "interactive elements" means they will be selling the same more-expensive IR wands sold at Universal or if they will be the cheaper, more authentic looking models.
Universal studios can not be happy about this.
There's a HP shop in Kings Cross station that will already charge you an obscene amount of money for a photo with a cart stuck in a wall (Before the store moved in you used to be able to do it yourself for free).
I can't imagine Harry Potter being so popular for big sales of the wands. This will definitely impact the unique presentation at Universal parks. It should come in time for Halloween rather than Christmas. Oh well. I'm not in the market for such things.
The effect of this really depends upon how many locations install the exhibit. I cannot imagine that this would be cheap for a developer to install. At most, I think it might affect mail order/online sales, but I don't think that anyone would skip a trip to the parks for this, unless one is installed at The Grove or someplace in LA, which could cut into USH traffic from people just going to shop.
People still go to malls?
What @James Rao said...
This is a great idea for malls that want to continue in business. I think it will be in many major malls. The small malls are the ones that will die. Major malls already know that dining and entertainment are their future and stores like this are a combination of entertainment and shopping, the perfect type of stores for malls like the new enlarged Staten Island Mall.
I have a feeling this is only a seasonal store, aka temporary. I do not think Universal is sweating.
Well if my memory serves me correctly - Didn't Disney have stores in malls and downtown shopping area in the US and many have since closed..
Robert, was there anything specific in the press release or elsewhere that made you think this was a mall thing. I agree with Russell as far as what kinds of malls this could go to, but I actually see this more of a standalone "pop-up store" like in Times Square, the Vegas Strip, near the Palace Theatre London, and similar areas across Asia, Europe, and N America.
This is only a seasonal, temporary store experience. There are no plans that I'm aware of to create a Harry Potter chain of stores.
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