Everything old is new again: Netflix is to open a chain of brick-and-mortar stores. Two will open, test sites, with “major cities around the world thereafter.”
According to a Bloomberg report quoting Josh Simon, the company’s vice president of consumer products, Netflix aims to open a network of stores offering retail, dining and live entertainment that leverage its TV shows and movies. Netflix has not announced what it will be selling at the locations; it’s unclear if DVDs or any type of physical media will be part of the inventory.
It’s not going to be a digital Blockbuster. It’s just the result of the streaming giant diversifying into everything it can think of. All successful American enterprises attempt to expand until they are trash zaibatsu and those that can’t are ultimately replaced by those that can.
“Netflix is an ecosystem. It opened a merchandise shop a couple of years ago. It’s investing in mobile games. It’s more than just a place for your remote control to gravitate to at the end of a long day,” said Rick Munarriz, a senior media analyst with the investment advice company, The Motley Fool, in a statement to NPR. “Success in the real world through location-based entertainment is the spoils of victory for a leading tastemaker. If Disney and NBC Universal can operate theme parks I give Netflix a decent shot of succeeding with this venture.”