Moon-Landing Anniversary Leading to Big Apollo 11 Merch Sales for Savvy Businesses
You might be unaware that the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing takes place on July 20, but for a small T-shirt shop on the edge of the Kennedy Space Center, Apollo 11 merch is making a huge impact.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the T-shirt shop, Space Shirts, is working around the clock to keep up with online orders, in-store orders and retail orders for Apollo 11 merch. In fact, the store started printing the Apollo 11 items a year ago, in anticipation of the demand. The apparel features its logo design, which is the image of an astronaut, the moon, Earth and Mars with the words "the next great leap" printed alongside the image.
— Orlando Sentinel (@orlandosentinel) July 10, 2019
When May came along, the logo was on hats, polo shirts, tote bags, coasters, drawstring bags and even mouse pads.
“Everyone today is waiting for me to call them back about reorders for everything space related and everything not space related," said store owner Brenda Mulberry, according to the Orlando Sentinel. "The [launches are] affecting me, the anniversary of Apollo 11 is affecting me. The general economy is exploding. Someone found some money somewhere.”
Space Shirts is not the only business taking advantage of the anniversary. A nearby restaurant called Shuttles Restaurant and Bar, which often hosts NASA engineers and workers from the nearby Blue Origin rocket factory, will host Apollo-themed specials, including a "Houston we have pastrami" sandwich. (Send us one, please.)
There will also be an Apollo-themed outdoor concert in Cocoa featuring Neil Armstrong's son Rick Armstrong.
The Apollo 11 anniversary is certainly a huge deal, but it's interesting that the Apollo 11 merch is taking off at this magnitude. However, given recent merchandise trends, it's not that surprising. NASA is cashing in big time on a reprised millennial interest in the branding. In fact, you can purchase their branded tees on Urban Outfitters at this moment. Then, there's the whole retro/nostalgia component. "Stranger Things" has encapsulated this trend in spades, but it seems the younger generations are really enjoying looking back to past events for their current wardrobes.