Netflix is set to redefine the fan experience. Imagine not just lounging on your couch watching “Stranger Things,” but walking into a space where you can live it.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF NETFLIX
In an ambitious move, Netflix has disclosed plans to establish its very first physical establishments, eyeing an initial rollout in two undisclosed U.S. locations. Far from ordinary retail spaces, these venues are envisioned as mini theme parks, offering not just food and beverages but also exclusive merchandise and interactive installations. Fans will find themselves plunged into the realms of Netflix megahits like “Squid Game” and “Stranger Things”.
However, these brick-and-mortar ventures serve a purpose beyond commerce. These immersive “Netflix House” spaces are primarily marketing tools crafted to boost the mainstay streaming service. “We’ve observed the enthusiasm with which fans dive into the universes of our films and series, and we’re exploring innovative ways to elevate that engagement,” Josh Simon, VP of consumer products explained in a recent interview.
The brand has already introduced over 40 temporary pop-up venues, among them the “Netflix Bites” eatery in Los Angeles and ticketed events like “The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience” and “Stranger Things: The Experience.” Up next is the adrenaline-charged “Squid Game: The Trials,” slated for a Los Angeles debut on December 6. Participants will face six unique trials within a gripping 70-minute timeline, with admission fees beginning at $39.
And then there's the e-commerce and licensing. Items range from “The Witcher” and “Bridgerton” collectibles to those inspired by “One Piece” and “Heartstopper.”
Real-world crossovers like the Scoops Ahoy ice cream line at Walmart, inspired by “Stranger Things” Season 3. And of course “Squid Game” slot machine, expected to hit casino floors in 2024. (Me on the later 🙋)