How Taylor Swift impacts brick-and-mortar sales – Chain Store Age

A new survey reveals that “Swifties” carry some real purchasing power.
The study of 300 U.S. retail store associates from Inmar Intelligence reveals that a full 100% of respondents said Taylor Swift has impacted sales at their physical stores – including purchases influenced by her as a brand as well as her music, movie and/or concerts.
Two-thirds of respondents specifically said the Taylor Swift “Eras” concert film had an observable impact on in-store sales.
Almost a combined nine-in-10 (87%) respondents said that Swift has both increased foot traffic and affected shopper purchasing patterns and/or demographics (51%), only increased foot traffic (12%) or changed shopper purchasing patterns and/or demographics (24%).
Leading product categories where respondents cited a “Taylor Swift effect” on sales include licensed Taylor Swift merchandise (59%), apparel (50%), fashion accessories (44%), licensed Kansas City Chiefs merchandise (32%) and makeup/cosmetics (31%).
The stunning popularity of Swift appears to be having a less dramatic impact on customer return behavior at brick-and-mortar stores. Six-in-10 (61%) respondents said she had no impact on return activity, while 26% said Swift actually caused a decrease in returns and 13% said she created an increase in returns at stores.
Somewhat surprisingly given the large overall impact Swift appears to be having on in-store customer behavior, only 43% of respondents said their store has implemented any specific merchandising strategies or promotions in response to Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour to capitalize on consumer interest.
However, only 20% of respondents said Swift has had no influence on their store’s overall retail strategy and decision-making processes, while a leading 36% said she has had a moderate influence, 23% a minimal influence and 20% a minimal influence (numbers rounded).
The era of Taylor Swift
Online demand for tickets to her “Eras” tour, which spanned and earned a record-shattering $2.2 billion during spring and summer 2023, completely overwhelmed ticketing sites. Her popularity was confirmed by actual mini-earthquakes generated by crowd activity at some of her shows. 
In response to this wide-scale popularity, the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. has offered interactive events specifically aimed at “Swifties.” And in May 2023, Jeffries analysts looked at the 2.4 million “Eras” concert tickets that had been sold at that time and predicted Boot Barn stores could see a significant bump in sales of items such as cowboy hats, sequins, and Western boots (Swift began her career as a teen country star) fans wanted to wear to her shows.

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