Finally, after 27 seasons, The Simpsons is going retail. Well, there was that one time a bunch of 7-Elevens became Kwik-E-Marts when the movie was coming out, but I’m not sure if that counts. This one definitely counts, though — an official, merch-filled retail store opened up today in Beijing, China, and we’re kinda having a cow, man, because it’s stocked with exclusives.
The store is an upscale boutique of the sort that Apple popularized (and many, many others have emulated). 20th Century Fox partnered up with Her-Chain, a Chinese retailer, to open up the new store, which apparently has “125 specially curated items.” We never thought we’d say that in a sentence regarding The Simpsons, unless the 125 specially curated items were all donuts. Instead, the store is filled with apparel, handbags, and accessories ranging from casual to upscale. I’m sure Mr. Burns already has already had Smithers book his flight.
There are little design touches that show an impressive amount of thought was put into making this store. The entrance is a silhouette of Bart, and there are colored blocks inside that are used to build characters from the show in a minimalist style, because if you need a trendiness marker, you do something minimalist.
Or, you could just look at where they put the store. It opened up in the Taikoo Sanlitun shopping center, which is an area known for trendy and upscale dining and entertainment. If there isn’t an episode next season where the family goes to visit this store, I’m going to be really disappointed.
So, why open the first Simpsons retail store in China? Well, while the show is still pretty popular Stateside, it’s not quite the cultural powerhouse it used to be. We’d hit it up, but we’re not sure there would be a massive rush of people to a Simpsons shop in 2016. It’s just recently become popular in China, though, and there’s a whole lot of enthusiasm. That, and the Taikoo Sanlitun shopping center area is pretty popular with expats and tourists from all over the world — if 20th Century Fox wants a global audience for their new shop, this is one of the best places to go.