Big rush: The first pop-up shop of the Ghibli film studio has just opened in Frankfurt. After a few hours the Atomax comic shop is already sold out.
Frankfurt – The shelves are empty. Three days after the opening of film studio Ghibli’s first pop-up store, the comic shop is sold out. Customers from all over Germany queued for hours in the Domstrasse to purchase one of the coveted fan items. The inventory, which was supposed to last four weeks, was sold out within hours.
The Frankfurt shop is closed for now, but fresh products arrive from Paris and abroad. At the end of this week the doors of the “Maison Ghibli” will open again. While stocks last.
The owner of the Atomax comics shop in Frankfurt underestimated Ansturm
Owner Thomas Schützinger and CEO Michael Koch underestimated the scope of their first pop-up shop. The news that fan items from the Japanese film studio Ghibli would be available in Frankfurt for a limited time spread quickly in advance. Not only did major online forums discuss the news extensively, but German national news sites also covered the pop-up store.
Last Saturday, the first customers showed up at the door two and a half hours before the store opened. “They waited as short a time as possible,” explains Koch. “Customers queuing at 12pm had to wait up to seven hours.”
The Atomax pop-up store remained open until 9.40pm instead of 5pm
In total, on Saturday alone, as many as 1,000 visitors entered the small shop and around one in two purchased one of the 300 products. While the shop normally closes at 5pm on Saturdays, this time the last customer said goodbye at 9.40pm. At this point most items were already completely sold out.
In 35 years I have never experienced anything like this.
The popular paper bags featuring the forest spirit Totoro, Studio Ghibli’s unofficial mascot, had already sold out hours earlier. Even for retail veterans like Koch, the rush has been overwhelming. “In 35 years I have never experienced anything like this. If we had only had a third of the visitors it would have been fantastic. But we never expected this success.”
To cope with the rush, Schützinger personally regulated access. A maximum of 20 customers could enter the store at the same time. Everyone was told to limit their visit to 10 minutes.
Fans came from all over Germany especially for the Ghibli shop
On Tuesday, hopeful customers from as far away as Leipzig, Herne and Duisburg traveled to the Main especially for the Ghibli store. But the doors of the Atomax comic shop are closed because only a few isolated objects remain.
Schützinger came to the door several times and explained to those present that the shop would remain closed until the new goods arrived. He allowed only a few people who had traveled a lot to enter through the side door, so that they could buy from the few who remained. The Ghibli fan from Leipzig also received a consolation for the long unsuccessful journey: a soft toy.
The pop-up store in Frankfurt will reopen at the end of the week
However, Maison Ghibli will only be closed for a short time. The new merchandise is already arriving and should arrive in the Domstrasse store today. Then, for one day, pallets are unpacked, stuffed animals and porcelain bowls are placed on shelves, and prices are labeled. “We receive double the goods compared to last week,” explains Schützinger. “We also rented new storage space.”
Hoping the inventory lasts longer, the pop-up shop will reopen Friday or Saturday, depending on how quickly the team unpacks today. (to)