It seems like every celebrity, from reality television stars to teeny boppers have their own line of clothing or merchandise, and retailers are eating it up. In this complicated world of exclusive, celebrity-endorsed lines, do retailers have a good thing going or just another gimmick?
When retailers carry an exclusive line, it gives them the ability to lower prices at their own pace instead of keeping up with competition from other stores. This gives them more profitability than with national brands most of the time.
This differentiation can be good for the stores, but it can also get pretty confusing. Where do you go for what line? Consumers start to get overwhelmed by the number of lines out there and can get fatigued by so many of them.
In addition to confusion and fatigue, celebrity lines can be tricky because some celebrities can lose popularity overnight or be involved in scandals that can cost retailers lots of money.
Despite all the problems with a celebrity-endorsed line of merchandise, in the end, they’re paying off for the participating retailers, so it’s likely a trend that will stay around for a while – just make sure you stay away from anything touted by Charlie Sheen or Lindsey Lohan – for obvious reasons.
Source: New York Times, February 2011