There will be “Lupine” pillows and Netflix branded boxer shorts.
There will be caps, necklaces, charms and hoodies, all for sale at Netflix.shop, a site that goes live on Thursday, when the world’s largest streaming company plants a flag in the territory. of electronic commerce.
The shopping site gives Netflix a new way to make money after a quarter in which its explosive growth showed signs of slowing down in the increasingly crowded realm of streaming entertainment, which now includes a formidable rival in Disney +.
Unlike some of its competitors, including Hulu and HBO Max, Netflix, the home of “Bridgerton”, “The Witcher” and “The Crown”, does not have any commercials, relying on the monthly fees paid by its more. of around 200 million subscribers. the world. This is where Netflix.shop comes in.
The site is the next logical step for a company that has taken retail seriously over the past year, an effort led by executive Josh Simon, who heads Netflix’s consumer products division.
Mr. Simon joined the company in March 2020 after having held a similar position at Nike. Under his watch, the consumer products team has grown from 20 to 60, and Netflix has made deals with Walmart, Sephora, Amazon, and Target to sell clothing, toys, beauty kits, and housewares, between others, linked to its series and cinema.
Netflix created the online store with tech company Shopify. Mr Simon described it as a “shop,” adding that products related to only a few Netflix shows will be included in its first few weeks.
“Lupine,” the animated French crime show about an expert thief, will be the focus of Netflix.shop later this month. In addition to baseball caps, t-shirts, hoodies and pullovers, merchandise related to “Lupine” will include cushions ($ 60 apiece) and a side table ($ 150), all designed and produced in collaboration with the Louvre museum.
Two Netflix animated series, “Eden” and “Yasuke,” will premiere in the store on day one. A clock based on the character “Yasuke” Haruto, created in collaboration with artist and designer Nathalie Nguyen, is priced at $ 135.
There is also a clothing line “Yasuke”, resulting from a collaboration with the streetwear label Hypland and its founder, Jordan Bentley. “It’s part of that drop culture, where kids line up on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles to buy its products,” Simon said.
Over the next few months, products related to other Netflix shows, including “Stranger Things” and “Money Heist,” will appear on shelves online.
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The demand seems to be there: Thousands of fan-made products related to the Netflix documentary series ‘Tiger King’, including candles, face masks, and greeting cards, are for sale on Etsy and similar sites, without the blessing of the business.
Netflix has capitalized on hits like “Bridgerton,” a period romance by producer Shonda Rhimes, which debuted in December. Working with clothing company Phenomenal, Netflix began selling $ 59-inspired sweatshirts. The line includes a lavender hoodie with the words “I wish to be entertained” on the front, as well as a crew neck with the message “I am burning for you”.
“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” a Netflix romantic comedy film franchise, has spawned a line of clothing and accessories at H&M, as well as beauty kits at Sephora. There are also Mattel dolls and a Walmart plush toy related to the Netflix animated hit “Over the Moon”.
Netflix.shop will allow the company to move faster to meet demand for Netflix-related items, this trend shows on social media. “We did it pretty quickly,” Mr Simon said of the “Bridgerton” sweatshirts, “but I think we’re talking a few days when we have our next unexpected hit.”
A desire for quick turnaround times played into the company’s decision to run its store through Shopify, whose technology supports a range of vendors including Allbirds, Kith, The New York Times, and Kim Kardashian’s Skims.
Harley Finkelstein, the president of the company, said Shopify used to handle “major drops,” from Taylor Swift albums to sneaker releases, and that it can handle tens of thousands of payments per minute. “We’ve been hardened around some of the biggest flash sales on the planet,” he said.
Products based on entertainment success can be traced back to the early days of Hollywood. Disney was selling plates, puzzles, tin buckets and other items featuring Mickey Mouse, Pinocchio, Snow White and other characters as early as the 1920s. Decades later, George Lucas made his fortune thanks to a fortuitous deal he made with Fox that allowed him to retain the rights to “Star Wars” products in exchange for a reduction in his director’s fees, an arrangement he made prior to the first film in the series is out.
Tech companies are now leaping into action in search of new sources of revenue. Google recently announced plans to open a store in New York City, and Instagram has stepped up its in-app shopping functionality.
Sales of licensed products related to shows, movies and characters were approximately $ 49 billion in the United States in 2019 and $ 128 billion globally, according to the most recent study by the United States. industry carried out by Licensing International, a commercial group. The biggest player, by order of magnitude, is Disney.
Mr Simon, the head of Netflix, said the money generated by the shopping site should not match the amount Netflix makes from its deals with chain stores and fashion brands. “In practice, more revenue will come from these partners around the world in terms of footprint, number of locations and scale,” he said.
Unlike Disney, which is expected to generate tens of billions of dollars in merchandise sales each year, Netflix has no plans to set up physical stores in malls or Times Square.
Mark A. Cohen, director of retail studies and assistant professor at Columbia University’s Business School, said he was skeptical about the longevity of the Netflix store after enthusiasm for its opening waned , in part because of the back-and-forth cycle. of Netflix hits.
“Most of them have a short lifespan unlike a Disney property, which is a generational long ride,” he said.