Netflix Pushes Into Ecommerce With Online Shop Selling Show-Specific Collections

By Kelsey Sutton:

Netflix, which has focused its efforts on selling DVD rentals and on-demand video subscriptions for more than 20 years, is officially getting into the ecommerce game.  

Today, the streaming service is debuting, an ecommerce store offering apparel, jewelry and collectibles to fans of its original series. Items available the first day include hoodies, tees, jewelry and a collectable clock inspired by the streamer’s anime series Yasuke, as well as tees, hats and a wooden kendama toy from the anime series Eden. Action figures will soon join the line-up of available merchandise for sale.

Prices range from $30 (for a logo T-shirt) to $135 (for a necklace). All of the product lines were created in partnership with outside designers, including streetwear brand Hypland founder Jordan Bentley, jewelry designer Kristopher Kites and multidisciplinary artist Nathalie Nguyen. Consumers do not need a Netflix subscription to shop the store, and shop accounts cannot to linked to Netflix accounts.

The expansion into limited-edition apparel and other consumer products for sale on an owned-and-operated site marks another way that Netflix, which counted 207.6 million global subscribers in its last quarter, is looking to keep fans invested in its shows long after they turn away from their screens.

“We’re thrilled to give fans a new way to connect with their favorite stories, and to introduce them to the next wave of artists and designers who embrace the power of storytelling in all its forms,” Josh Simon, Netflix vp, consumer products, wrote in a blog post about the store.   

Consumer products evolution

Netflix’s ecommerce push caps off years of dabbling in the consumer products business that Netflix has been pursuing through retail and brand partnerships as it has looked to find ways to capitalize on the runaway success of some of its original series. Those ambitions have grown from selective IP licensing to certain retailers and brands to more wide-ranging efforts.

In 2019, the streamer executed a merchandizing bonanza surrounding the third-season premiere of sci-fi hit Stranger Things, striking deals with a wide array of brands including Coca-Cola, Schwinn and Target to bring various branded merchandise to shelves and online shops alike.

Those partnerships have only continued, including with a makeup collection at Sephora for the teen romance To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before with the Korean skincare brand Laneige, and a four-piece pastel sweatshirt collection with the apparel brand Phenomenal featuring lines from the Shondaland series Bridgerton.

The online shop will center on curated partnerships with known brands and designers, and it will often offer limited-edition items that can drive demand and interest. The company will continue selling much of its consumer products through other channels through partnerships with major retailers.  

In the coming weeks, Netflix will expand its store offerings, included with branded housewares and other collectibles inspired by series like the international hit Lupin, which is being designed in collaboration with the Louvre Museum. The company is planning additional releases tied to the return of series like fantasy drama The Witcher and sci-fi hit Stranger Things, but will also look to sell Netflix-specific items.

Netflix-branded apparel is coming soon from Beams, a Japanese fashion house, Simon said.

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