Netflix supercharges its retail push with Walmart deal

Netflix doesn’t just want you to binge its movies and shows anymore.

It also wants you to buy shirts, dolls and other novelty items inspired by its original programs — generating a new source of income for the company as it sheds subscribers in North America.

Walmart announced Monday that it struck a deal with Netflix to sell merchandise from popular shows on its website, including a “CoComelon” bed set, “Squid Game” t-shirts and baking kits inspired by the reality show “Nailed It!”

“Walmart is now the official one-stop shop to bring your favorite Netflix stories home,” Walmart executive Jeff Evans said in a blog post.

The backstory: Netflix launched an online shop in June — a sign it was interested in adopting the model perfected by competitor Disney, which makes tons of money off its intellectual property with theme parks and clothing sales.

The Walmart agreement indicates it’s doubling down on its efforts. That makes sense.

While Netflix is quickly growing its international subscriber base, especially in Asia, it lost 433,000 subscribers in the United States and Canada between April and June. Partnering with Walmart opens up a new way to generate revenue — and could spur greater interest in its shows among shoppers.

Investor insight: Netflix shares had been struggling to break out this year. But they’ve recently staged a comeback, hitting an all-time high last week as investors got excited about the success of Korean thriller “Squid Game” (which I devoured, though I’m here to tell you about markets, not TV).

“Squid Game can help further open up the [Asia-Pacific] region,” JPMorgan analyst Doug Anmuth said in a recent note to clients. “[And] it is another example of local content traveling well globally.”