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06/11/2021

Netflix enters direct-to-consumer retailing

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Amazon bought a film studio, and now Netflix is opening a full-fledged e-commerce site.

Leading content streaming platform Netflix is launching Netflix.shop, a new U.S. e-commerce site dedicated to selling exclusive limited editions of curated apparel and collectible products tied to its shows and brands. 

Netflix.shop will drop new products on a regular basis. Among the items debuting this month are streetwear and action figures based on anime series “Yasuke and Eden”; as well as limited-edition apparel and decorative items inspired by France-set thriller series “Lupin” in collaboration with the Louvre 

According to Netflix, future exclusive drops will include products from its popular proprietary titles “Stranger Things” and “The Witcher,” as well as new Netflix logowear from Japanese fashion company Beams. The company has already been selling a wide assortment of licensed merchandise via retail partners such as Target.

Amazon recently purchased major U.S. film studio MGM for $8.45 billion, giving it ownership of more than 4,000 movies, 17,000 TV shows, and the cable network Epix. The e-tail giant already competes with Netflix’s content streaming business via its Prime Video streaming service.

Now, Netflix is making a move into direct-to-consumer e-commerce. The company does have experience managing a supply chain for shipping and returning physical products, as it originated in the late 1990s as a subscription rental service for DVDs (and even engaged in some DVD sales).

“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 of consumer products, said in a corporate blog post announcing the new e-commerce site. 

Netflix plans to expand Netflix.shop to other countries around the world in the coming months.