- Fast food chain Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen created a new apparel line inspired by its employee uniforms, the company shared with Marketing Dive.
- The 10-piece athleticwear collection of branded t-shirts, polo shirts, hooded jackets, sweatshirts, tunics, hats and visors comes in the brand's iconic maroon and orange colors.
- The brand created an e-commerce shop where the limited-edition items can be purchased. An online look book, promoted on social media and the fast food chain's website, is modeled by real Popeyes employees. The company said the proceeds from apparel sales will be donated to the Popeyes Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting employees, customers and the community.
Popeyes' new line of uniform-inspired apparel comes on the heels of pop icon Beyoncé launching her Ivy Park line of athleisure in partnership with Adidas. Popeyes pointed out that the singer's new collection — which sold out online in one weekend — has a similar color scheme to its own branding and uniform line, and alluded to the singer's love for the fast food brand in press materials. Beyoncé once told Oprah Winfrey that she really loves Popeyes and has a lifetime membership card, but is too embarrassed to use it. Popeyes is trying to tap into this connection, which was also pointed out by consumers on social media.
Popeyes' latest apparel promotion follows its sold-out ugly Christmas sweaters from December. The ugly sweater featured the fast food brand's name and its chicken sandwich that went viral last fall. The chain partnered with UglyChristmasSweater.com, which makes licensed products for many brands, to create the $44.95 gift item, which sold out very quickly as loyal customers snapped up the limited-edition offering as gag gifts or to sport their fandom.
Fast food chains have seen continued success with branded merchandise and holiday gifts in recent years as they look to position themselves as lifestyle brands beyond the dinner table. For instance, Dunkin' sold scented candles, KFC two years in a row offered a chicken-scented fire log and Red Lobster doled out branded apparel.
Popeyes' selling the apparel via an online pop-up at dedicated site thatlookfrompopeyes.com also ties into recent QSR trends. Last month, McDonald's launched its first year-round e-commerce store that sells brand-themed merchandise that isn't available for purchase elsewhere. The online shop could help the marketer develop deeper insights about its most loyal customers through their online browsing and purchasing behavior.