#ICYMI Day 19: The year of Justin Bieber tour merch

The holiday season is here, a time for reflection and excitement for the year ahead. To help you take stock, reminisce about the good times, and get excited for 2017, for the entire month of December your WGSN global editors are cutting through the noise to deliver you, our “WGSN #ICYMI” rundown.

It’s a rundown of the coolest most viral moments of the year, the most innovative ad campaigns, plus the sites and sounds that should be on your radar now, so that come 2017, you can say, ‘oh I already knew that was going to be HUGE this year’.





WGSN Staffer: Catarina Lambranho, Global Branding Specialist








Before 2016, I think we can all agree that tour merchandise was the thing that came second to the actual tour and musician. But something happened in 2016, people who didn’t even manage to get tickets to the Justin Bieber Purpose tour were clamoring to get their hands on his merchandise.


justin bieber tour merch

And it wasn’t just Bieber, Beyonce, Kanye, and Frank Ocean all managed to create such a huge buzz around their pop-up merch stores and product lines (that were in conjunction with their tours) that retailers started playing attention.


Kanye West's tour merch

Kanye West’s tour merch




Both Barneys in the US, and Urban Outfitters globally embraced the trend and stocked Justin Biebers merch, much of it selling out straight away.

This trend has been an interesting one to watch, the way celebrities are extending their personal brand into this retail sphere. They’ve managed to create a huge level of demand, so much so that retailers are looking at them to see what the magic formula is to create this demand and huge footfall into brick and mortar stores.

2016 really was the year that merch won.

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