Harry Potter New York – The “Fanatic” Store Experience

Though we arrived early to the Harry Potter New York store, there was already a line of eager fans waiting to get in. Just in the time we were in line, our tickets were already in the 90’s for how many were ahead of us. However, as soon as you entered you understood why!

Growing up I was an avid Harry Potter fan and it was great to delve into the fan experience as an adult. The design of the store was to offer more than just goods but a whole immersion. This was shown by the virtual reality games that you could purchase as well as the general layout of the store. Not only did they base sections off of certain iconic elements in the book series like Honeydukes candy shop, Dumbledore’s staircase, the ministry of magic’s elevator, and the Forbidden forest, but they also included props and graphics from the House of Minalima to make it more personal. Additionally they had a place to buy butterbeer (a popular drink in the series) and interactive displays as well. 

Overall, the attention to detail that they created within the store shows how much they know about their product and customer base. Their careful mix of elements made the store enjoyable for not only kids, but adults as well since the franchise is a multigenerational phenomenon. Even though Harry Potter has become extremely commercialized, the store felt personal and exciting with all the small homages to the series. As a young designer, it reminded me of the importance of creating a community experience within your brand.