Interview • 22.05.2024

Store concept: the magical pop-up store in Munich

Idea, implementation and challenges in “The Wizarding World Shop by Thalia”

Diagon Alley, Hogwarts, Quidditch pitch - there are many places to visit in the stories of Harry Potter. Why not in a bookshop too? What was a great success in Hamburg can now be experienced by fans in Munich. For the 200 square meter pop-up store, Thalia once again teamed up with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products, who were responsible for the store design. What makes the experience store so special? What were the challenges during implementation and what can we learn from them for future projects? Thalia spokesperson Julia Benkel has answers to these questions.

 Julia, what was the idea behind the concept of the “Wizarding World Shop by Thalia”?

The idea behind the store was to depict the film worlds of Harry Potter and the Fantastic Beasts and make them visible and tangible. The store's special design allows visitors to immerse themselves directly in the Wizarding World, turning the store into a place of experience. At the same time, we offer the entire product portfolio of the Wizarding World in one place.

One of the aims of the store is not only to provide a meeting place for the existing community, but also to introduce new fans to the Harry Potter universe, a franchise that has been successful for more than 20 years and continues to captivate new generations.

How do you integrate the story and magic of Harry Potter into the daily customer interaction and store experience?

There are shopfitting elements throughout the store that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the magical world. For example, there is a cupboard with wands in the style of “Ollivanders”, an area inspired by “Honey Dukes”, an installation of the whomping willow, the invitation letter from Hogwarts, the talking hat, suitcases, cages, movie posters and, also, a fireplace with a seating area reminiscent of the common rooms. There are also special photo settings such as Platform 9 ¾ with the iconic trolley.

How do exclusive products and attention to detail in the store contribute to the customer experience?

The combination of experience and product range is the secret to the success of “The Wizarding World Shop by Thalia”, as the community not only finds the sought-after breadth and depth of the product range here, but also experiences a magical world of its own when shopping and therefore lingers longer.

How do interactive elements in the store promote customer loyalty?

In “The Wizarding World Shop by Thalia”, we are working with our partner Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products to place a special focus on interactivity. In addition to the shopping opportunities, customers will find various photo spots in the store, including a Hogwarts motif and the Great Hall with the talking hat, as well as the permanent installation of a magical, interactive AR experience that offers various motifs and helps customers to perceive the store as an all-round experience.

Just magical: this is what it looks like in the store!

What were the biggest challenges during implementation?

First of all, we had to do justice to the high value of the “Harry Potter” brand and, of course, the high expectations of the passionate fan community by creating a maximally authentic and immersive experience. In particular, the design of the whomping willow required creative solutions and attention to detail. In addition, developing a unique store design was key to bringing the magic of the world of Harry Potter to life and engaging visitors.

Looking back at the start of the project, what did you learn and what could benefit future projects?

In Hamburg, we learned that it pays to create more space for atmosphere and experience in the store - the characteristic store design elements, in particular, were very well received by the community. Another learning is the importance of our core product, the book, in the experience store. Due to the high demand in Hamburg, we have expanded our book range in Munich accordingly.

Interview: Katja Laska

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