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Friday, 9 December 2011

Harry Potter and the Point of Purchase Display

As the Harry Potter phenomenon comes to an end this year a look back at the incredible journey this brand has gone through seems appropriate. It's a British success story unrivalled; a classic rags to riches story for the author who has become a national treasure. JK Rowling will remain in our hearts for not selling out entirely to Warner Bros and insisting on British actors and British companies for the production of the books into films.

The impact for the UK film industry has been huge and all the suppliers to that industry. Equally the retailers and their supply chain have benefited from the success. Seven books and eight films later the best selling franchise has broken many records despite adults in the literary world initially dismissing the Harry Potter books. Children and their parents buying power dictated the success, despite the critics it has become the best selling series of all time.

The brand is said to now be worth in excess of $15 billon…. all from humble beginnings as a mum set to write a children's story in a cafe in Edinburgh.

Initially rejected by several publishers Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was eventually taken up by Bloomsbury's in London.

Down the chain somewhat the knock on effect for our industry started to happen. The hype around the book launches and merchandising brought so many installation jobs in as retailers 'Harry Potterised' their stores. Every child - and often adult wanted a piece of Harry Potter. We all remember the long ques in bookstores all over the world when a new book was launched. Behind of all this was an incredible amount of point of purchase materials that were installed in cinemas, book shops, toy stores, supermarkets, media outlets and department stores worldwide.  It has quite simply been a merchandisers dream. We have all worked for so long installing Harry Potter displays it has become second nature ... and as the series comes to an end this year Christmas 2011 seems to be the last we'll see of Harry Potter displays.

In April we were called upon to make sure 900 FSDUs were delivered in to a major supermarket in time for the launch of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 film. The stores have recently installed display for the DVD release on the 2nd December. I can't help feeling a little sadness as this December the DVD displays for the release of the last Harry Potter film signals the end of 14 years of Harry Potter merchandising and display.

I'm sure there will be something else that comes along to replace it - the next big thing! However from a commercial point of view Harry Potter has been a big part of the POP display industry…and will be missed.

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