McDonald’s Launches First Permanent E-Commerce Store

As one of the most valuable brands in the world, the fast-food giant is tapping into its ubiquity with new themed merchandise.

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Need to Know

  • McDonald’s announced the launch of their first permanent e-commerce shop, Golden Arches Unlimited
  • The launch signals the fast-food giant’s recognition of how widespread its brand is and how it can be applied to everything, including streetwear.
  • Competing brands such as Taco Bell and KFC have also recently started selling merchandise.
  • McDonald’s is the second-most valuable food and beverage brand in the world according to Forbes, trailing only Coca-Cola.

Analysis

Fast-food giant McDonald’s has launched a permanent e-commerce merchandise shop. While the most recognized restaurant in the world already dipped into the e-commerce space with a limited-run collection in 2017 to celebrate its partnership with Uber Eats, this is the first permanent online store for the brand. 

Golden Arches Unlimited is a year-round online shop that will be stocked with apparel and accessories, such as an umbrella styled to look like the top of a sesame seed bun, a Happy Meal T-Shirt, or a Big Mac Bag. 

But this is not your average side hustle. The shop is poised to be a money-making machine, with items starting at $12 for a set of pins and rising as high as $65 for a holiday sweater. Some items are already sold out.

At a company convention two years ago, the brand quickly sold out of all the merchandise on hand, realizing immediately they were on to something. “It was this massive hit,” said Colin Mitchell, McDonald’s senior VP of global marketing.

The launch, timed conveniently prior to the holiday season, can be leveraged for marketing during a very competitive time of year.

The announcement comes after a number of major or competing brands, such as Coca-Cola, Taco Bell, and KFC, have started selling merchandise for fans to show off their loyalty. 

This means it was only a matter of time for McDonald’s to foray into the world of influencer marketing. “With the Instagram generation, people want really distinctive merchandise and particularly they want to deploy their fandom,” said Mitchell. “We want everybody who is wearing it to be a brand ambassador.”

“McDonald’s has been ingrained in the fabric of culture for years,” says Mitchell, and this new venture shows the fast-food brand’s transformation into not just a restaurant, but a lifestyle brand. 

For now, some of the items are being sold in one location, a restaurant in Chicago. But in terms of a permanent brick-and-mortar shop, “That’s something we hope to scale,” said Mitchell.

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