‘Stranger Things’ Boosts Georgia Business

Millie Bobby Brown
Millie Bobby Brown at the Netflix's season 2 premiere of 'Stranger Things' held at the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood, USA on October 26, 2017. (Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com)

Stranger Things‘ is bringing dollars to Georgia businesses.

According to reports by the Associated Press, after the Netflix release of “Stranger Things,” fans from all over the world traveled into Bradley’s Big Guy grocery store in Palmetto, Georgia, dressed like characters into the show. Some fans even walked toward the Eggo waffles aisle to take pictures and videos.

Fans go where “Stranger Things” star Millie Bobby Brown filmed a scene as the character Eleven. They are still returning to Georgia three years later, even after the store changed its name and joined the Piggly Wiggly franchise.

stranger things
LOS ANGELES – OCT 26: Noah Schnapp, Gaten Matarazzo, Millie Bobby Brown, Sadie Sink, Caleb McLaughlin, Finn Wolfhard arrives “Stranger Things 2” event October 26, 2017, in Westwood, CA (DFree / Shutterstock.com)

Palmetto, Georgia is a small town of fewer than 10,000 people and 25 miles southwest of Atlanta. But after “Stranger Things” premiered in 2016, it has become a routine for employees to see “Stranger Things” fans. Fans have visited the store every day since the store reappeared in the third season on July 4th, according to Piggly Wiggly manager David Johnston. The AP reports 50 fans showed up on one Saturday in mid-July, he said.

“You can spot them in the crowd when they come in here,” Johnston said. “The girl the other day was dressed like Eleven, all the way to the blood running down her nose.”

It should not come as a surprise. The ‘80s sci-fi series broke Netflix streaming records with their third season. 40.7 million accounts watched it, and 18.2 finished it within the first four days of release.

Netflix Stranger Things
LOS ANGELES, CA – October 26, 2017: Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo & Finn Wolfhard at the premiere for Netflix’s “Stranger Things 2” (Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com)

The show is set in Hawkins, Indiana, but filmed in Georgia, where the state offers tax breaks and other film incentives to producers, studios, and others in the entertainment industry. In 2018, the state earns $9.5 billion annually from the industry.

Emory University’s Briarcliff Campus in Atlanta was the set location as the show’s Hawkins Laboratory. In Duluth, Georgia, crew changed a vacant area and food court in Gwinnett Place Mall into Starcourt Mall.

The mall is still open but is a major disappointment for “Stranger Things” fans; A guard is now posted outside of the wing used for filming to escort anyone who attempts to take a photo.

 

Employees at the Piggly Wiggly are encouraging fans to write in a notebook to share their experience, which is now kept at the store.

Netflix Stranger Things
Millie Bobby Brown and Sadie Sink at the Netflix’s season 2 premiere of ‘Stranger Things’ held at the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood, the USA on October 26, 2017. (Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com)

“Loved coming here to get some Eggos and Coke,” said one note signed by Julia, Mike and Danielle from New York.

Johnston adds the store’s Eggo waffle sales have tripled and merchandise has also increased in sales.

Businesses in Georgia have also benefited. Throughout the series, downtown Jackson, Georgia was portrayed as the town of Hawkins, where several vital characters worked including Winona Ryder’s character.

Stranger Things 3 Cast
LOS ANGELES – JUN 28: Liv Pollock, Dacre Montgomery at the “Stranger Things” Season 3 World Premiere at the Santa Monica High School on June 28, 2019, in Santa Monica, CA – Image (Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com)

As the Associated Press reports, Lucy Lu’s Coffee Cafe opened in downtown Jackson, Georgia in 2017. Within months, the cafe created “Stranger Things” inspired drinks including “Sheriff Hopper, hazelnut and vanilla coffee drink, and the Demogorgon, a frappe with blood-red food coloring named after the monster that rampages through Hawkins.”

As a result, it had been a significant success with fans and locals. The shop brought in $1,200 in net sales July 19, doubling their daily average following the release of the third season.

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