Crunchyroll to launch 2,400 pop-up stores in Walmart locations

The anime Fan Shops have started launching this month with licensed merchandise and exclusive Blu-Ray collections of Dragon Ball Super.
November 7, 2023

In a major retail deal for anime, Sony’s Crunchyroll streamer is partnering with Walmart to launch pop-up shops in more than 2,400 stores across the US. 

Crunchyroll’s Fan Shops will begin to roll out this month in order to cash in on the holiday buying season. Each location will carry a range of action figures, collectibles, Blu-rays and mangas from tween-skewing franchises licensed to Crunchyroll, including Dragon Ball (pictured), My Hero Academia and Naruto. The pop-ups will stay in business after the holidays, with restocks and new merchandise rollouts scheduled throughout 2024.

This Walmart partnership figures into Crunchyroll’s strategy to make anime accessible to a wider audience, said global commerce SVP Mitchel Berger in a release. The streamer also sees plenty of opportunity to strengthen its consumer products business with the anime fandom that’s alive and well at retail. According to research Crunchyroll presented at Brand Licensing Europe in October, anime fans in the US spend between US$80 and US$127 on themed entertainment and merchandise each month. 

Crunchyroll has been on a bit of a deal-making streak lately as the global anime market heats up. In October, Amazon started distributing Crunchyroll via its Prime Video Channels platform in the US, Canada, Sweden and the UK; and Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Game Show Network launched a 24/7 linear anime channel the same month featuring Crunchyroll content on Amazon Frevee, Roku and LG Channels. 

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