Star Wars Force Friday a $1B retail event

Retailers are not missing the opportunity to sell anything—and everthing—Star Wars related. The movie series is moving to capitalize on Force Friday in honor of the release of "The Force Awakens." Retailers such as Toys R Us, Target and Walmart were releasing new merchandise starting Friday Sept. 4, just after midnight.

                     Times Square Star Wars celebration at Toys R Us

Disney planned an entire day of events and in-store activities for the day. The merchandise is coming out well before the actual movie release, which is still more than three months away, Dec. 18.

Experts predict that the retail toy sales geared toward the movie could rack up $1 billion in sales in the United States for 2015, Fortune reported. Add in global sales and that number jumps to between $3 billion and $5 billion.

"That's going to be quadruple what it is in a non-movie year," Jim Silver, editor-in-chief of toy-centric website TTPM.com told Fortune.

The seventh feature film based on the Star Wars series is perhaps the biggest rollout for a toy franchise ever, according to U.S. toy experts. Disney, which now owns Lucasfilm, will reap the most benefits from the box office and licensing fees for all toys, apparel, video games and other gear.

However, other retailers will do well from sales, especially those who are the biggest sellers of toys. But the day is not just for those selling toys to kids. It's a new retail holiday for all.

For example, Petco was offering a line of dog toys for Star Wars fans and Best Buy was promoting Star Wars movies, games and merchandise, along with a pre-order of the new movie. Department stores like JCPenney were able to create products for several different categories, launching everything from apparel and accessories to bedding.

"The event has the potential to meaningfully accelerate the division's revenue and profit growth," Alexia Quadrani, a JPMorgan analyst, told CNBC. She projects that Star Wars licensing and retail store sales will increase 200 percent, perhaps leading to $500 million in incremental revenues and $200 million of incremental operating profit for Disney in fiscal 2016.

For more:
-See this Fortune article
-See this JCPenney press release
-See this Best Buy press release
-See this CNBC article

Related stories:
Disney opens largest Disney Store yet in Shanghai
Walmart, Toys R Us, select Targets open late for Force Friday
Disney store redesign drives revenue to $760M in UK
Amazon blocks Disney pre-order amid Hachette dispute
JCPenney launches Disney shops in 565 stores
 

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