The Simpsons may be ‘America’s First Family’ but their first real-life store isn’t in Springfield, it’s in Beijing. The first brick-and-mortar shop dedicated to The Simpsons opened for business in the Chinese capital on 5 May. Not only is the shop the first physical retail store dedicated to the cartoon family, it is also the first high-end outlet of any kind to feature Simpsons-only merchandise.
The Beijing store is located in the fashionable Sanlitun district. Formerly a strip of seedy bar streets, Sanlitun got a makeover in the lead up to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The area is now punctuated by several glitzy shopping malls and high-end restaurants, including Taikoo Li, the shopping centre where the Simpsons store is located.
According to Tech Times, the store is operated as a triple partnership between 20th Century Fox Consumer Products, Gracie Films and Chinese clothing brand Her-Chain. The store features a variety of clothing and other themed products. General Manager of Her-Chain Yoyo told Comicbook.com that the Beijing store “possesses the fully-owned licensing rights to co-produce all ranges of products. It is targeted to meet the intense and popular demands among consumers and The Simpsons’ fans. The Simpsons store will continue to provide the infinite surprises and fashionable merchandise iconic to the brand.”
The Simpsons hasn’t always been popular in China. In 2006, the show was banned from primetime TV as China made a bid to protect its homegrown animators. Since 2014, the show has been available on Chinese screens through the streaming site Sohu. According to The Beijinger, products on offer in the store include a shirt with Homer rendered as the Edvard Munch ‘Scream’ painting, glittery pink thermoses and Duff Beer muumuu dresses.
The store is located at Taikoo li South (SLG-43) and is open 10am-10pm.