Netflix plans to open its first permanent store in Tokyo in 2022, following the introduction of its online merchandise store last month.

Netflix online store collage

According to The Japan Times, the streaming giant’s store will sell merchandise from its popular shows.

There will also be recreations of sets from shows and films within the store, including one from Japanese Netflix original show The Naked Director.

A spokesperson from Netflix’s Japanese team said that the company is considering an in-store installation explaining how the site utilises artificial intelligence to recommend new content for users.

In-store events were also cited as a future option for expansion.

The spokesperson added that the store would aim to “merge the virtual world of the internet with the real world”.

Netflix is Japan’s most popular streaming service, with 5 million subscribers, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Memberships rose by 2 million during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The move to a permanent retail presence comes after the streaming giant established a global ecommerce site in June, selling a wide range of goods linked to some of its original series. It also has licensing deals with retailers globally to sell similar products in stores.

Netflix did not respond to a request for comment on the opening of the new store.

However, vice-president of consumer products Josh Simon, who Netflix poached from Nike last year, hinted at the ongoing efforts by the site to go beyond streaming following the opening of its ecommerce site.

“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,” he said.

Netflix continues to diversify its offerings to users as subscriptions slow following a surge of demand in the early stages of lockdown.

The company also announced this week that it will now offer video games to subscribers at no added cost as its shares dipped following the lowering of new subscriber predictions for Q3. 

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