Taylor-made retail gold rush ahead of record-breaking tour

“Swifties” are creating a retail goldrush ahead of pop superstar Taylor Swift’s Australian Eras Tour in front of what’s expected to be the biggest audiences of her entire career.

With her first concert on Friday night, crowds at the Melbourne Cricket Ground are tipped to reach a total of 260,000 people across her three dates at the stadium.

That will be followed by another four sold-out concerts from the 14-time Grammy winner at Accor Stadium in Sydney from next Friday.

The Eras tour takes in every phase of Taylor Swift’s career in a concert that runs more than three hours, from her Speak Now album to Reputation and the more recent Midnights.

Fans have spent hours queuing and waiting on websites to secure coveted tickets to the show, with a second last-minute release of tickets on Thursday and the promise of further tickets being released on show days.

The concerts are expected to provide an economic boost for Victoria and NSW, with Swifties from interstate and overseas booking flights and hotels.

The city’s free tram zone has been extended to the MCG, and extra train, tram and bus services will be running on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Concertgoers from regional Victoria are being urged to make alternative arrangements as V/Line rail staff begin another round of strikes on Friday.

The industrial action takes place from 3am on Friday through to 7am with conductors, train controllers, station staff, customer service staff, and authorised officers all stopping work.

Retailers get fans Eras ready

Australian retailers are feeling the Swiftie fever too as fans racing to get Eras ready spend up to $105 million dollars on outfits and more.

Fans are joining previous attendees overseas in the concert tradition of dressing up themed as one of the Grammy Award winner’s 10 albums (her 11th comes out in April).

Key outfit elements can range from cowboy hats and boots to tinsel fringe jackets and sequined dresses in various colours, depending on the era and album.

Showpo CEO Jane Lu is in her Lover-era and she’s planning to show it in a sequined skirt and top combo when she sees Swift at one of her seven Australian shows.

The Shark Tank judge and her Sydney-based team started talking about content, product and eCommerce strategy when tickets to the Australian dates of the tour first went on sale in June last year.

“We knew it would be a great opportunity for us … but to be honest, we never estimated the Swiftie effect would be this big,” she told AAP.

“January is a quieter time for retail but we aren’t experiencing this – we have seen our sequin and party collections sell like hot cakes for this time of year.”

The online shopping retailer’s festive season and New Year’s Eve category sold 250 per cent more than originally forecast for January sales.

The average Swiftie is spending roughly $900 on tickets, accommodation, travel, outfits, and other necessities, associate finance professor Angel Zhong estimates.

Retailers are set to pocket $105 million as a result of Swift’s Eras Tour which is set to inject up to $405 million into the Australian economy in total, according to Ms Zhong’s calculations.

One staple that remains for all Eras Tour outfits is the traditional friendship bracelets inspired by the artist’s song You’re On Your Own Kid from the 2022 Midnights album.

Since the tour’s announcement, craft retailer Spotlight started preparing and has seen searches for the friendship bracelet kits increase over 33 per cent online.

Retailer Spotlight is marketing products to fans attending Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour in Australia. Photo: AAP

“We’ve added cowboy hats, love heart glasses and the must-have friendship bracelet bead kits to our ranges which have been hugely popular amongst Taylor Swift fans,” Spotlight chief executive Quentin Gracanin said.

Google search trends for “Eras Tour outfit ideas’ reached peak popularity last June when Swift first announced Australian concert dates on her social media.

While Australian Retailers Association CEO Paul Zahra may not have succeeded in getting tickets and wouldn’t call himself a huge Swiftie, he can’t help but feel enchanted by the diversity of people who support and admire the artist.

“People immediately think of young girls being the ones interested in Swift’s music and her personal style but it’s not necessarily gender-based or generational appeal,” Mr Zahra told AAP.

“We’re seeing all walks of life getting into the Swiftie mania.”

The record-breaking tour is set to gross more than $US1 billion ($1.53 billion), industry figures show.

Swift’s Australian tour starts on Friday in Melbourne at the MCG and finishes in Sydney at Accor Stadium on February 26.


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