Retailers’ December sales shine from the ‘Star Wars effect’

  • News
  • December 16, 2015
  • Elly Strang
Retailers’ December sales shine from the ‘Star Wars effect’

Data from cloud-based point-of-sale company Vend has found that New Zealand retailers who are selling Star-Wars related products and memorabilia have seen a 430 percent increase in December sales so far, compared to 2014.

The sales increase has been dubbed the Star Wars Effect, with the new film is set to hit cinemas on Thursday, December 17 at 12.01am.

To date, the biggest day for Star Wars purchases so far has been 12 December.

There has also been a 180 percent increase in retail spending at stores selling Star Wars products, while there is 350 percent more Star Wars stock being held by stores to accomodate demand.

Vend CEO Vaughan Rowsell says you “don’t have to be the brightest lightsaber in the galaxy” to know that Star Wars products are popular.

“Last year New Zealand saw record levels of Christmas spending across the country, and we’re coming off a pretty strong 2015 so it’s likely we’ll see another great season for retailers - and the Star Wars Effect is certainly helping,” Rowsell says.

Globally, Forbes reports that Star War merchandise revenue will far surpass box office revenue.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is on track to reach a domestic gross of US$625 million at the box office in the US, but an analyst believes its merchandise revenue will hit US$5 billion.

Last year’s top retail merchandise earner was the movie Frozen, grossing US$531 million in product sales.

Disney bought the Star Wars franchise in 2012 from creator George Lucas for $US4 billion.

It has a majority stake in the sales and will garner 20 percent of the merchandise sales. According to the analyst’s prediction, this amounts to US$500 million.

In major overseas department stores like Walmart and Target, stores have held “Force Friday” midnight opening events and have entire aisles devoted to Star Wars-related goods.

The author of Star Wars FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the Trilogy That Changed the Movies, Mark Clark, says the merchandising effort this time round is huge compared to previous movies.

“In the '70s, no one would've considered nondairy creamer with a Star Wars logo, or makeup, and not even Halloween makeup. It wouldn't have crossed your mind to brand those items with Star Wars. It's staggering,” he told Tampa Bay Times.

As Clark points out, the success of Star Wars merchandise sales may be helped along somewhat by the fact that any and every type of brand is cashing in on the Star Wars effect.

Does anyone really want Star Wars-branded oranges, apples and grapes? Perhaps not, but that doesn’t stop brands from trying.

Star Wars products aside, in New Zealand, the biggest sales uplift was in the furniture and homewares category – 111 percent higher than the November average.

This was followed by sales at jewellery stores (110 percent) and toys and game stores (90 percent).

Electronics sales have increased by 64 percent, while clothing sales have increased by 53 percent.

Vend data has also found that the most popular day for last-minute gifts isn’t actually Christmas Eve, but the day before it.

In 2014, sales on 23 December were 40 percent higher than the rest of the month and retail spending increased by 61 percent. Sales on Christmas Eve declined by 26 percent.

Rowsell says the data shows the solution for shoppers is to either get in early, or get in very late on the 24th.

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Military-style semi-automatics ban announced

  • News
  • March 21, 2019
  • The Register team
Military-style semi-automatics ban announced

As of 3pm on March 21, a wide range of semi-automatic weapons have been reclassified under section 74A(c) of the Arms Act as requiring an E endorsement on a firearms license. This means they can no longer be sold to those with A-category gun licenses, and their purchase now requires police approval.

Read more

Retailers gather for insights at NZ Retail and The Register's breakfast

  • News
  • March 21, 2019
  • The Register
Retailers gather for insights at NZ Retail and The Register's breakfast

NZ Retail and The Register’s sales and marketing breakfast saw dozens of Kiwi retailers come together to network, sharing tips and tricks and absorbing expert advice.

Read more

Who stole Christmas?

  • News
  • March 21, 2019
  • Kelly Withers
Who stole Christmas?

Results are starting to trickle in from Christmas 2018/2019, and for many retailers, they're a little disappointing. Paydar chief executive and co-founder Kelly Withers explores the data.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

Chinese businesspeople raise millions for Christchurch victims

  • News
  • March 21, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Chinese businesspeople raise millions for Christchurch victims

A group of visiting Chinese businesspeople have raised $2.35 million for victims of the Christchurch mass shooting.

Read more

The Retail NZ Awards: What does it take to be a winning retailer?

Take this time to shine with the upcoming Retail NZ awards, a chance to show the retail industry what makes your business stand out. No ...


Hunting & Fishing New Zealand voluntarily pulls military-style assault weapons from sale

  • News
  • March 20, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Hunting & Fishing New Zealand voluntarily pulls military-style assault weapons from sale

In the wake of the attack on Christchurch’s Muslim community on March 15, strong calls for changes to New Zealand’s gun last have been made. Trade Me was the first retailer to act, halting the sale of all semi-automatic weapons on its platform, and it has now been joined by Hunting & Fishing New Zealand.

Read more
Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit