As diehard Swifties are aware, the latest holiday merchandise drop from Taylor Swift went live on Nov. 13 at 3 p.m. ET. And in true Taylor fashion, the collection’s launch didn’t go unnoticed — it was very much noticed.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Swifties have made headlines for the acquisition — or attempted acquisition — of coveted merch. Earlier this year, at several stops during The Eras Tour, fans camped out for hours in hopes of snagging the viral blue crewneck. The buzz around this holiday drop, however, is unprecedented.
The X, formerly known as Twitter, account @taylornation13, which is an extension of Swift’s public relations team, announced to its 2.7 million followers on Nov. 13 that they had only 89 minutes before the release of the limited-edition merchandise. A countdown was set, and once the clock struck 0:00, fans gained access to an interactive “Lover House” on taylorswift.com, where they could browse a series of rooms filled with items, including Christmas ornaments, from all of Swift’s eras.
the way the new taylor swift merch drop all sold out within 3 minutes of its release and all the stuff in my cart was gone by the time i was trying to checkout. i hate this fandom 😭😭
— marissa. (@marissaxnicole_) November 16, 2023
every year, on one magical day, all the swifties panic over what we're getting in the Taylor Swift holiday merch drop
— State of Grac (@ArtGraceMakes) November 13, 2023
— Tiff 🖤🐍 (@reallytiffish) November 13, 2023
Google search data recently obtained by Venture Smarter, a business consulting firm, revealed that searches for “Taylor Swift ornaments” have “exploded” by 1,150% worldwide, reaching an all-time high in five years, following the release of her latest holiday merchandise. In a span of 12 months, searches for “Taylor Swift gift” in the United States have risen by 133%. “Taylor Swift stuff” saw a similar increase, at 170% globally.
“I’m not surprised at all that the latest holiday merch drop is as viral as it is. Taylor is known for really listening to her fans and interacting with them through Easter eggs and fandom inside jokes, so when she brings that energy to her merch, it hits all the right notes (no pun intended!),” Julia Webb, commerce manager at In The Know by Yahoo, said of the exclusive drop’s popularity.
Another benefit of holiday-only merchandise, added Webb, is that “extra special” feeling of acquiring a limited-edition item.
“I think as concerts become more of a bonding experience (friendship bracelets and thoughtful outfits are now the norm!), people are more excited to wear their favorite artist’s merch 24/7,” she continued. “Plus, if something is limited-edition or only available during the holidays, securing one of those items feels extra special and like you’ve snagged a collector item.”
Emily Kelley (@ekelleydesign), a self-proclaimed Swiftie, recorded her reaction to the holiday merch drop going live. Kelley told In The Know by Yahoo that she wishes the drop had occurred differently.
“I do not think that this is a good example of a well-done holiday merch drop. If you are going to bring back popular items, make sure there is a decent-size stock to accommodate the demand. And make sure they are going to arrive on time for the holidays,” she suggested via email. “Better yet, if you’re going to have holiday-themed things, I think they should be sold months earlier so that fans can actually enjoy them during the holiday.”
For Kelley, there’s pressure to purchase any piece of Taylor Swift merchandise simply because of its resale value.
“Whether or not I want that product, will use it or will wear it, if it’s on sale, I am going to try and buy it. This is a huge problem in the Taylor Swift fanbase,” she admitted, before adding that this is especially true during the holiday season. “Because of that urgency, fans are splurging on merch and grabbing every little thing they like in fear that it will sell out and they will regret not buying it when they had the chance.”
Stephanie Niemiec (@stephaniemiec), another self-proclaimed devoted Swiftie, shared similar sentiments surrounding the pressure of this drop. Failing to make an immediate decision can sometimes leave you empty-handed.
“Also taking into account the horrible resellers, the merch drops become even more stressful, since a lot of people/bots buy these items, knowing the demand for them is high, and place them on resale clothing sites for absurdly high prices,” Niemiec wrote in an email. “For example, a sweatshirt originally on Taylor’s store for $70 can be found listed on Depop for $500 seconds after it sells out on Taylor’s website.”
Niemiec added, “The demand for these items is so high that you literally get placed in a ‘queue’ to check out of Taylor’s merch store, sometimes having to wait 5 minutes to get to the checkout screen. If you thought you were free from the horrors of the Ticketmaster queue, think again.”
Swift isn’t the only celebrity who’s recently debuted a 2023 holiday collection. Sabrina Carpenter, who is currently on tour for the Latin American leg of Swift’s Eras Tour, Olivia Rodrigo and Selena Gomez are a few of the pop stars who have also released their own limited, holiday-themed drops. Gomez, for instance, debuted her “Twelve Days of Selena” merch late last week.
“It’s fascinating to see the influence that Taylor Swift has on her fanbase — although she has gained popularity from her music, she has expanded into a different market by selling a range of products while simultaneously making the most of the Christmas period,” a spokesperson for Venture Smarter said in a statement. “It reflects how public figures can utilize their loyal fanbase to succeed even further financially.”
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