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06/03/2021

Harry Potter flagship opens in New York

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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A massive store dedicated to Harry Potter and his wizarding world has opened its doors in New York City. 

Located in the Flatiron District of Manhattan, Harry Potter New York boasts the largest collection of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts merchandise under one roof. The three-floor, 21,000-sq.-ft. store offers an immersive experience, with 15 different themed areas, each one designed to bring the magic of the “Harry Potter Wizarding World” to life. More than 1,000 props are on display, including some authentic items used in the movies. 

Entering the store, customers are greeted by a huge model of a familiar Harry Potter-related creature, Fawkes the Phoenix. A rotating statue of a Griffin, the magical beast of Harry Potter fame, stands guard in the main atrium, adjacent to the Wand Shop.

Photo ops are available throughout the space, from posing inside a London phone box or inside Hagrid's boots. Digital technologies are integrated throughout the store, including with the Harry Potter fan club app. Users will find a number of “enchanted keys” in the space that unlock exclusive behind-the-scenes facts, figures, and videos that help bring the store to life.  

 The store also has a Butterbeer Bar that serves Butterbeer, Butterbeer ice cream, bottled Butterbeer and other treats. (Appearing throughout the Harry Potter stories, Butterbeer is a butterscotch-flavored soft drink much loved by wizards.). The “bar” is set off with a giant cascade of glowing Butterbeer bottles that appear to float in the air. For more details on the store, click here.

Harry Potter New York has a virtual queuing system in place. When customers visit the store, they scan a QR code to join a virtual queue and return when notified.

“With its long-awaited opening, Harry Potter New York has already excelled at one of the most pressing priorities in physical retail – creating a compelling reason for consumers to visit stores,” commented Richard Willis, RVP Solution Consulting, EMEA and APAC at Aptos. “While Harry Potter New York sets an experiential retail standard that is not realistic for many brands, the store’s focus on exclusive products, interactive elements and digital technologies – including integration with the Harry Potter Fan Club app – are foundational elements of modern store experiences. As this over-the-top experience shows, shopping is no longer just the process of “acquiring goods”. It’s a sensory experience, a leisure pastime and even a way of tapping into like-minded lifestyles and communities, such as in this case, connecting with others who share a passion for the Wizarding World.”