Names aside, companies in this industry say consumer preferences have largely moved on too.
"Oddly enough, the customer base doesn't want anything Twin Tower-related," says Debbie Goldfeder, vice president of sales and marketing for Torkia International, a manufacturer and wholesaler of New York City souvenirs and apparel. Her company is the largest license holder of NYPD, FDNY, MTA, and I Love New York merchandise.
Many other memorabilia sellers--part of more than a $1 billion souvenir industry, according to Torkia senior vice president Lloyd Haymes--have had a similar experience and adjusted their inventory accordingly. Nathan Harkrader, co-founder of souvenir e-commerce site, launched his company in November 2001. Initially, he says, the majority of his customers asked for September 11-related merchandise--T-shirts, Twin Tower statues, and patriotic souvenirs. But by 2005, he realized his clientele was fragmenting. Many people were offended by 9/11 products, including items like a snow globe with the Twin Towers inside. He decided to cut most of the products, especially ones that seemed exploitative.

"We were always appropriately sensitive to customer demand and emotions. We avoided selling tacky or cheap, or other merchandise that was playing too much on tragedy," says Harkrader, whose company donates a percentage of proceeds from all 9/11-related products to September 11-related charities. "We passed on most products manufacturers were making. We found that it was best to keep items that are simple and tactful."

Initially, September 11-related items started as 30 percent of's business. Today, they account for only 1 percent of monthly revenue. The figure increases to 5 percent in August and September, but it's still a smaller spike than in the company's early years.
While one once-marketable symbol of the Twin Towers has fallen out of favor, interest in 1WTC products has increased steadily since the building's construction. The "Freedom Tower" has come to be a powerful representation of the country's resilience, and is now present in every product that features the Manhattan skyline.
"What people need to remember is that this is hallowed ground," he says. "It should be respected."