There will be “Lupin” pillows and Netflix shorts.
There will be caps, necklaces, charms and hoodies, all on sale at Netflix.shop, a site that goes live on Thursday, as the world’s biggest streaming company sets its flag in the field. ecommerce.
The shopping site gives Netflix a new way to make money after a quarter where its explosive growth showed signs of slowing in the increasingly crowded online entertainment sector, which now includes including a formidable competitor in Disney+.
Unlike some of its competitors, including Hulu and HBO Max, Netflix, the home of “Bridgerton,” “The Witcher,” and “The Crown,” is ad-free, relying on a paid monthly fee. by more than 200 million subscribers around the world. That’s where Netflix.shop comes in.
The website is the next logical step for a company that got serious about its retail business last year, an effort led by chief executive Josh Simon, who runs the consumer products division. by Netflix.
Mr. Simon joined the company in March 2020 after working in a similar role at Nike. On his watch, the consumer products team has grown to 60 people, from 20 people, and Netflix has made deals with Walmart, Sephora, Amazon and Target to sell clothing, toys, beauty kits and housewares, among other items, related to its series and films.
Netflix created its online store with tech company Shopify. Mr. Simon describes it as a “store,” adding that products tied to only a handful of Netflix shows will be included in the first few weeks.
“Lupin,” the popular French crime show about an adept thief, will hit Netflix.shop later this month. In addition to baseball caps, t-shirts, hoodies, and sweaters, “Lupin”-related merchandise will include throw pillows ($60 a piece) and a side table ($150), all designed and produced in cooperation with the Louvre.
Two Netflix anime series, “Eden” and “Yasuke”, will be featured in the store on its first day. A watch based on the character “Yasuke” Haruto, created in collaboration with artist and designer Nathalie Nguyen, costs $135.
There is also a clothing line “Yasuke”, born through a partnership with street fashion label Hypland and its founder, Jordan Bentley. “He was part of that shopping culture, where kids were queuing up on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles to buy his products,” said Mr. Simon.
In the coming months, products tied to other Netflix shows, including “Stranger Things” and “Money Heist,” will hit 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, masks, and greeting cards, are on sale at Etsy and the web. similarly without the blessing of the company.
Netflix has capitalized on hits like “Bridgerton,” a period romance from producer Shonda Rhimes, that came out in December. In partnership with clothing company Phenomenal, Netflix began selling the shirts. $59 felt was inspired by the show. The line includes a lavender hoodie with the words “I Wish to Be Entertained” on the front, as well as a turtleneck with the message, “I Burn for You.”
To All the Boys I Loved Before, a Netflix romantic comedy series, has launched a line of clothing and accessories at H&M, as well as beauty kits at Sephora. There’s also a Mattel doll and a Walmart plush toy tied to Netflix’s hit animated series “Over the Moon.”
Netflix.shop will allow the company to move faster to meet demand for Netflix-related items that show that trend on social media. “We did it pretty quickly,” said Simon of the “Bridgerton” sweatshirt, “but I think we are talking about a few days when we have the next surprise hit.”
The desire for fast turnaround times led to the company’s decision to run its store through Shopify, whose technology powers a wide range of vendors including Allbirds, Kith, The New York Times and The New York Times. and Kim Kardashian’s Skims.
Harley Finkelstein, the company’s president, says Shopify has experience in handling “big drops,” everything from Taylor Swift albums to sneakers releases, and it can manage tens of thousands of hits. pay per minute. “We’ve been struggling with some of the fastest sales on the planet,” he said.
Productions based on entertaining hits go back to the early days of Hollywood. Disney has been selling discs, puzzles, tins, and other merchandise featuring Mickey Mouse, Pinocchio, Snow White, and other characters since the 1920s. Decades later, George Lucas made a fortune through a the fortuitous agreement he broke with Fox that allowed him to keep the rights to the “Star Wars” productions in exchange for a discount on his director’s fees, an arrangement he made before the first movie. published series.
Tech companies are now starting to act as they look for new revenue streams. Google recently announced plans to open a store in New York, and Instagram has beefed up its in-app shopping features.
According to the most recent research by Licensing International, a trade group, the revenue of licensed products tied to shows, movies, and characters was about $49 billion in the U.S. in 2019 and 128 billion. USD globally. The biggest player, in order of magnitude, is Disney.
Mr. Simon, the Netflix chief executive, said the money generated by the shopping site is not expected to be commensurate with the money Netflix makes through deals with chain stores and fashion brands. “Really speaking, more revenue will come from those partners worldwide in terms of sheer footprint, number of locations and scale,” he said.
Unlike Disney, which is estimated to generate tens of billions of dollars in merchandise sales each year, Netflix has no plans for brick-and-mortar stores in malls or Times Square.
Mark A. Cohen, director of retail research and an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of Business, said he is skeptical about the longevity of the Netflix store after the excitement surrounding the opening fades. , partly due to the cycle of comings and goings among Netflix hits.
“Most of them have a short shelf life, which, unlike Disney properties, is a generational long haul,” he said.