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Pope's popularity sells

03 January 2014


THE so-called "Francis effect" has created a huge boom in papal merchandise, ranging from pink Pope Francis onesies to boxer shorts that show his coat of arms.

Retailers have seen sales increase - in some cases, by more than 200 per cent. Calendars, T-shirts, key rings, mugs, and baseball caps are selling well, but demand for Pope Francis goods is so strong that his face, quotes, and coat of arms are being put on a variety of items.

A Pope Francis duvet, and a Pope Francis canine hoodie are available, as well as sweatshirts, baby bodysuits, flasks, pyjamas, biscuit jars, coffee trays, earrings, cufflinks, wall clocks, jigsaws, dolls, purses, tracksuits, water bottles, pillows, teddies, reusable shopping bags, jewellery, tie clips, diaries, and picture frames.

One of the largest retailers of papal merchandise, CafePress, recorded a 215-per-cent increase in sales over the past ten months. A spokeswoman for the company said: "The popularity of Pope Francis as the 'People's Pope' has translated into a wealth of products."

Garments emblazoned with quotes by Pope Francis are popular, with the strongest seller bearing the words "Rebel Against This Culture" - a slogan from his address to pilgrims at Copacabana during the 2013 World Youth Day.

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