One of the biggest criticisms of Netflix from media industry analysts is that the company doesn't have the type of marketable titles that can spin off consumer merchandise hits.
It appears that the streaming service disagrees and on Monday it announced a wide-ranging deal with Walmart that includes a large online destination for Netflix fans called "Netflix Hub At Walmart." The digital store will showcase come of Netflix's most popular shows with items that range from hats and action figures to a Bluetooth cassette player. Some of the items will also be available on a limited basis in some Walmart physical stores.
This is not the first time Netflix shows have spawned related merchandise and the company had previously had a deal with Target for a line of Stranger Things merchandise. But this hub is by far the largest deal signed by the company and it comes days after a deal with the UK online retailer Zavvi for Squid Game merchandise.
One of the notable aspects of the Netflix/Walmart hub is that there is a big focus on the streaming service's kids programing, including the wildly popular Cocomelon and the Netflix original series Ada Twist, Scientist. The latter show was the result of a production deal Netflix made with writer/producer Chris Nees, which well may become one the smartest deals the company has made in recent years.
Walmart and Netflix are also currently running a promotion for the Netflix series Nailed It. In the promotion, fans who buy a baking kit at Walmart can participate in a virtual bake-off on October 16th and October 23rd. You can find more information on that promotion on this page.
A Walmart spokesperson told AllYourScreens on background that the merchandise will be regularly updated to reflect the interests of Netflix viewers. And according to the spokesperson, the decision to make the merchandise primarily available online allowed the companies to produce smaller runs of some items and be more agile about the mix of merchandise offered to consumers.