The Margin: The world’s first Harry Potter flagship store is coming to NYC this summer

The Margin: The world’s first Harry Potter flagship store is coming to NYC this summer

10 Jan    Finance News

Good news for Manhattan Muggles who still dream of going to Hogwarts — Harry Potter’s wizarding world is coming to you.

The world’s first official Harry Potter flagship store will “apparate” in New York City this summer, Warner Bros. revealed this week. The Wizarding World store will set up shop next to the iconic Flatiron Building at 935 Broadway, and fill three floors and 20,000 square feet with merchandise and experiences designed to enchant fans of J.K. Rowling’s coming-of-age series about young witches and wizards that has cast a spell on the world for more than two decades.

A press release from the AT&T Inc. T, -0.08% -owned Warner Bros. claims that the store will conjure the largest collection of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts products in the world, offering personalized robes, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, as well as treats such as coffee, ice cream and “butterbeer” that are similar to what guests can get at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme parks at the Comcast CMCSA, -0.53% -owned Universal Parks in Orlando, Hollywood and Osaka, Japan. But there will also be new line of wands that will be exclusive to the NYC location.

Everett Collection
Hey NYC Harry Potter fans: Diagon Alley is coming to the Flatiron District.

“This will be the largest dedicated Harry Potter store in the world and will become a must-visit fan destination where Harry Potter enthusiasts can engage with interactive experiences and numerous photo opportunities as they step into the magic,” said Sarah Roots, the senior vice president of world-wide tours and retail for Warner Bros., in a statement.

But some New Yorkers aren’t enthralled by the early renderings of the store, which propose adding a fiberglass dragon with a clock, two backlit Harry Potter signs and six “wand-style” antique brass flagpoles to the building’s facade, which was built in the 1860s. In fact, the Manhattan Community Board 5’s landmarks committee unanimously denied the request to make these alterations to the building, The Wall Street Journal reported. The motion will now go to the full community board on Jan. 16, before being sent to the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission later this month.

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Warner Bros.
The Harry Potter New York Flagship concept art has raised eyebrows.

“If Harry Potter can put a dragon, then Nike  NKE, -0.20%  can put a shoe, then the bakery down the block could put a croissant, and then where do you stop?” Layla Law-Gisiko, chair of the committee, told the Journal. (The Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch share common ownership.)

The store is just the latest set piece in Rowling’s fantastic franchise worth an estimated $25 billion and counting, which is composed of the best-selling book series of all time, eight Harry Potter films and two Fantastic Beasts films that have raked in more than $9 billion across the globe, according to Box Office Mojo, as well as the Tony- and Olivier Award-winning “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” play that was pulling $2 million a week on Broadway when it made its debut in 2018. (Ticket sales have slipped some, but the two-part show still averages about $1 million a week.)

Read more: The $25 billion wizarding world of ‘Harry Potter’ by the numbers

Rowling’s wizarding world has grown so big, in fact, that she remained Forbes’ highest-paid author last year, even though book sales are only a fraction of her earnings anymore. Most of her estimated $92 million net worth was drawn from the Harry Potter theme parks, the “Cursed Child” theatrical productions in New York and London, as well as the “Fantastic Beasts” film sequel “The Crimes of Grindelwald” hitting last year. But at her earnings peak, she commanded a whopping $300 million in 2008. She’s stirred up some controversy on Twitter TWTR, -1.72%, however.

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Related: J.K. Rowling is being called transphobic over this tweet

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