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."Tweet
Sounds like a Build-a-Bear for Potter-philes. I'm not sure how popular this would be outside of super high-traffic malls (Paramus, NJ, King of Prussia, PA, Tysons Corner, VA, Mall of America, and the like), where they wouldn't be able to generate enough revenue through limited sales to warrant the free show to thousands of passers-by.
With the Fantastic Beasts sequel not due out until fall 2018, seems like WB is caught in between. They should have done this last year or waited until next year to couple these store launches with the movie releases.
Universal is probably not happy about this, but I can't see this as a big substitute for going to the theme parks, so I'm not sure there's a big downside.
At most you end up with some people maybe not buying the merchandise when there, but you go to the theme park for the immersive aspect of the IP.
i.e. It's not like Disney stores or experiences elsewhere in the US harm WDW or DL. You go to the theme park for the entire experience, being able to buy a tiny part of the experience (the merchandise) elsewhere doesn't really affect that.
If you are 'In the Moment' you will buy trinkets and Souvenirs, but take that moment away and how much stuff will you sell.
Plus you can go online to find HP items...Universal has online store plus Pottermore.com....
Yikes - this will fail...
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