Thursday, August 16News For London

Star Wars: how businesses in the UK benefit from the premiere?

A number of businesses in London, including a shoe manufacturer, have been gearing up for the premiere of The Force Awaken, the latest addition in the Star Wars franchise.

The British designer Dan Sulliven teamed with Disney to create a line of shoes related to Star Wars. It is his first collaboration with the studio. Photo credit: Darya Luganskaya
The British designer Dan Sulliven teamed with Disney to create a line of shoes related to Star Wars. Photo credit: Darya Luganskaya

The shoes with Yoda and Darth Vader were on display at Schuh, the footwear retailer located in central London, since September.

However, UK customers, as Jordan, the salesman at Schuh, told Westminster World are buying them “rarely, despite they are so cool”. Their number is limited, the offer is almost unique, because only two other shops in London sell these shoes, but the price is £209.

Jamie Swan, the manager at Irregular Choice, the designer’s shop selling these models, said that different people, both young and old, female and male, have actually been buying them, especially close to the premiere.

“Some people sell them online because they see them as an investment,” he added. There are actually several offers on eBay, for example, Star Wars Death Star hills are sold for £360.

Dark Vader strikes the passers-by from Schuh's showcase near Oxford Circus station. By Darya Luganskaya
Dark Vader strikes the passers-by from Schuh’s showcase near Oxford Circus station. By Darya Luganskaya

These shoes were made by Dan Sullivan, the founder of Irregular Choice. He teamed up with Disney to create them as a promotion for the premiere.

Sullivan is the designer from Brighton that launched Irregular Choice and sells only his own production in this shop.

Each of the models – with Yoda, Chewbucca, Darth Vader and other characters – has a limited edition of 50 pairs. The prices at Irregular Choice ranges from £110 to £210.

The shoes manufacturer is just one of dozens of businesses benefiting from Star Wars premiere.

RealD is an American company with an office in the UK that produces 3D glasses. On December 11, they were in the spotlight on Star Wars UK Twitter channel because they were giving their products for free in central  London.

The RealD employees were handing out free glasses packed in carboard box. Using hashtag #StarWarsCardboard, the company promoted the event on social media.

RealD widely promoted a project launched by Google and Disney in November: a mobile application with a series of virtual reality experiences related to Star Wars.  It was developed by Lusacfilm lab ILMxLAB and released worldwide, including the UK, in autumn. Another giant, LEGO, announced on December 7 their mash-up for Star Wars.

Smaller businesses have also caught the wave of public’s interest in the franchise. Anything ranging from Star Wars Yoda stocking to Star Wars R2D2 string l.ights can be found on Amazon.

However, several Londoners that Westminster World spoke to, do not feel bombarded by promotions related to Star Wars. “I have not noticed it,”said Dina Tokbaeva, a young professional working in central London.

Hassan Slaibi, CEO and co-founder of Roadie Tuner, the company producing automatic guitar tuner, feels “pretty excited for the new movie to come out”. He told that, in his opinion, the advetorial campaign is effective, because “quite a few friends are talking about it”, but he has not personally seen it. Hassan Slaibi has an explanation on why these movie and everything connected to it is becoming a hit.

“It successfully reminded me of how amazing our imagination is. We live our “normal” daily lives in the city without questioning all the big quesions that such a movie poses on marality, space and love,”Slaibi said.