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For those who have spent the past year-and-a-half sofa-slumped, limp, and impassive as Netflix autoplayed episode after episode, what better way to reenter the physical realm than by donning the garms inspired by a favorite show? So thinks Netflix, at least with the opening of its online store.

What happened

The streaming giant has launched an e-commerce store, Netflix.shop, offering fans products connected to their hit shows.

What is Netflix.shop?

An online store running through Shopify, which drops exclusive, limited-edition goods created in collaboration with young-facing brands. At least initially, the emphasis is on the word “drop” with its earliest releases leaning heavily into streetwear, namely Yakuse and Eden-themed goods designed by Hypland, Nathalie Nguyen, and Kristopher Kites. Also set to launch: decorative items inspired by French series Lupin and developed in association with the Louvre.

Aesthetic appeal will expand as Netflix unveils products connected to more shows in what it’s calling “a new way [for fans] to connect with favorite stories” and what most everyone else knows as “add to cart” and “check out.”

Why it matters

Most broadly, it reflects the ongoing push of the entertainment industry to profit off consumers beyond the screen, something Disney has excelled at for decades. Netflix is aggressively pursuing new revenue sources amid increased competition in a streaming market it has dominated for more than a decade. As of Q1 2021, Netflix holds a 50.2 percent market share — impressive, but hardly as resolute as the 64.6 percent it enjoyed in 2019.  

Netflix’s market share might have dipped from its 2019 high, but the entertainment giant still dominates the streaming sector. Image: Bloomberg

Next is branding. Netflix’s stated intention to rapidly iterate goods for trending shows together with a site specifically designed to support high-volume flash sales promises to finesse its image beyond being a formidable content creator to one associated with hip brands and trendy designers. 

As an organization that has long leveraged data analytics to determine its next big show, expect the California-based company to apply similar rigor to its products. Over the pandemic, Netflix has rapidly expanded its consumer product teams and away from its niche online marketplace: it has struck deals with major retailers including Target, Walmart, and Sephora to sell clothing, accessories, and collectibles associated with its top shows. In financial terms, these deals with international chains will prove more lucrative than revenues generated through Netflix.shop.

Having already released a Stranger Things video game and The Queen and The Crown exhibition with Brooklyn Museum, Netflix is showing a willingness to grow the reach and parameters of its IP in multiple directions.

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What Netflix said

We’re always looking at how we can extend the world of our stories for fans, from apparel and toys to immersive events and games. Netflix.shop will drop exclusive limited editions of carefully selected high-quality apparel and lifestyle products tied to our shows and brand on a regular basis.” — Josh Simon, Netflix, VP Consumer Products

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Commerce, Licensing & E-Commerce