Downton Abbey merchandise line coming this year, executive producer says

By Dru Sefton

Gareth Neame, Downton Abbey e.p., told CNBC that the hit Edwardian drama on Masterpiece Classic will offer a new line of merchandise this year.

“We’ll be working across an entire range of products coming out this year,” he said. “From fashion, apparel and homeware and furniture to wallpapers, beauty products and stationary.”

Neame said the show has been “extremely cautious” about developing and selling such items. “In retail terms, the first series launched the program and the brand, the second year ratified it and the show didn’t even hit its high point in the U.S. until this year when series three ended in the U.S.,” Nearne said. “It’s very rare for a British drama to have this much retail potential and merchandizing value.”

CNBC noted that the show’s popularity “has translated into a boom for U.K. retailers who have reported massive sales of arm-length gloves, fur capes, cravats and waistcoats that the Edwardian characters wear in the series. Even the old-fashioned liquor sherry has enjoyed a 15 percent rise in sales according to retail chain Marks and Spencer.”

A Downton jewelry line was briefly available on ShopPBS in January 2012, before Carnival asked for it to be removed.

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