Local stores experience Taylor-made sales

Swifties empty the shelves of pop icon merchandise at local stores

4 min read
Store window displays Taylor Swift clothes.
caption Pedestrians walk by a full window display on Spring Garden Road dedicated to a Taylor Swift inspired collection.
Warren D'Silva

Mother to two Claire Maalouf was browsing through Splurge Boutique in Park Lane Mall in downtown Halifax last week. She was on the hunt to find a birthday present for her younger daughter’s friend, and was looking at Taylor Swift merchandise.

She likes Swift’s family-friendly image and supports her because she considers Swift a feminist and “that’s how I want to bring up my girls.”

Taylor-Swift merchandise crowds a display shelf in a store.
caption Taylor Swift inspired candles and merchandise at Splurge.
Warren D’Silva

That‘s music to the ears of Splurge owner and manager Nadin Dajeen.

“I started carrying her products last year and now she’s probably like 30 to 40 per cent of my monthly sales,” Dajeen said. “Taylor Swift … is a big deal because she doesn’t copyright herself. A lot of people will copyright themselves, so then you can’t use their likeness on merch.”

Swift has been good business for the Spring Garden branch of envy+grace as well. The store sells hoodies inspired by lyrics of her hit songs.

In November, Swift adapted lyrics to her song Karma to reference her Kansas City Chiefs boyfriend Travis Kelce, who flew to watch her show in Buenos Aires, singing,“Karma is the guy on the Chiefs, coming straight home to me.”

Envy+grace store manager Jenny Alvares says this specific product has been a big seller for the store.

 “ ’Karma is the guy on the Chiefs’ is our best-selling hoodie,” she said, saying the store sold 25 pieces in the last month. She adds the Halifax Shopping Centre location has sold double that amount within the same time.

Latika Pattnaik, 24, who was also shopping at envy+grace, said she grew up on Taylor Swift’s music and it has influenced her taste in style, décor, and makeup.

She said “Taylor Swift has the most die-hard fans” and she is one of them.

She would love to wear Taylor Swift merchandise but in her opinion, the stuff on Swift’s website is not Patnaik’s personal esthetic.

“Brands like envy+grace carting Taylor Swift-inspired clothing in my style helps me rep my favourite artists in my style,” she said.

Rain Crowell, outreach co-ordinator for the Dalhousie University students’ Taylor Swift Society, said Swift merchandise is unifying.

“Wearing Taylor Swift merchandise makes you feel like a part of a community. It is like when you see someone wearing TS merch you see an extended family member,” Crowell said.

In Halifax, Alvares said, “Younger university student clients buy more than 30 per cent of (the store’s) Taylor Swift merchandise.”

This data was over the holiday season because most of the Taylor Swift sales, which sold out twice from November to Christmas, were made to parents.

 “We can’t keep the product in. We keep the new stock coming,” Alvares adds.

On Sunday, Swift announced her forthcoming album The Tortured Poets Department.

Since then, Splurge’s Dajeen said, “At least 50 per cent of my new inventory inquiries are new Taylor merchandise related … Anytime she makes a new album, we’ll get like the new coaster and the new album and stickers.”

“Taylor Swift is like a cult leader,” Maalouf joked. “She has huge control over her fans.”

Swift has not just swept people off their chairs and onto tapping their feet, but she has transformed global markets, selling out stadiums with her Eras Tour, lobbying for change and selling out hotels in Vancouver leading up to her show there.

Financial analysts created the term “T-Swift Lift,” because of the economic boon that she has brought to the cities she’s visited.

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About the author

Warren D'Silva

Warren D'Silva, a fashion and lifestyle content creator turned journalist. He believes that all you need to do is find your inner confidence...

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