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Retailers open doors at midnight in anticipation of ‘The Force’


New York -- Disney unleashed its considerable marketing prowess on Friday and retailers were hoping the company’s “force” would translate into big sales.

On Friday, the entertainment giant formally debuted hundreds of toys and other products related to its upcoming — and hugely anticipated — film, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

The movie, the first in a new "Star Wars" trilogy, opens in the United States on Dec. 18. Target, Walmart, Toys “R” Us, and Disney Store were among the retailers who opened their doors early, at 12:01 a.m. on Sept. 4, to show off the goods and accommodate the expected crowds.

What’s all the fuss about? Industry analysts at PiperJaffrey said they expect some $3 billion worth of Star Wars merchandise will be sold this year and that sales in 2016 could be even larger, according to a report by NBC News.

Target Corp. was among the retailers gearing up for expected big sales. The retailer said its stores were transforming into one-stop destinations to “Shop the Force.”

“We are bringing the Star Wars universe into guests’ homes, lives and imaginations through hundreds of toys, apparel, grocery and housewares products,” the retailer said in a blog on its website.

Included in the Target offerings are some exclusive items, including “BB-8,” a droid that moves and beeps, which the chain created in collaboration with Hasbro.

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