Star Wars Merchandise Goes Global Tomorrow
The hype is growing around the newest installment in the Star Wars franchise. Tomorrow, Disney officially will launch the film’s consumer products worldwide in an event called “Force Friday.” For companies that produce licensed Star Wars items, from large retailers to small businesses, this could mean big profits.
Wired reported that Vandor LLC—a Salt Lake City-based promotional products business that features branded items, such as drinkware, tote bags and lunch boxes—has produced Star Wars items for the past six years. Even though the company isn’t producing the valuable collectors' items, like action figures, the company’s products will reach a wide variety of major retailers, including Kohl’s, Target and Urban Outfitters.
“This particular launch has definitely helped open up some doors,” Vandor LLC CEO Tom Russo told Wired. “We have our merchandise going into a wider variety of different types of retailers than anything we’ve done before.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Macquarie Securities analyst Tim Nollen estimated that Disney (now the parent company of LucasFilm), could rake in $5 billion in consumer merchandise in the first year after the global product launch. Nollen further estimated that Disney could also make approximately $500 million in licensing and retail revenue.
In previous years, Disney earned a 6 percent licensing fee, but Nollen believes that this price will increase.
“Disney does not disclose its licensed revenue share per product and/or brand,” Nollen told The Hollywood Reporter. “However, in fiscal year 2014, Disney earned $2.54 billion in licensing and publishing revenue, as compared to the $45.2 billion total retail sales of Disney’s licensed products. Given the Star Wars brand, we estimate that Disney may be able to earn a higher licensing fee, perhaps closer to 10 percent.”
This isn’t the only time that retailers and suppliers can cash in on the Star Wars craze. Retailers, like Wal-Mart are looking forward to similar events for the November release of the “Star Wars Battlefront” video game, next year’s “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” home video release and next year’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” feature film.