Netflix Inc., which grossed more than $500 million last year by renting and mailing DVDs to customers around the country, is set to open a small shipping center near the Spokane airport.
The company, based in Los Gatos, Calif., will soon open the 3,000-square-foot facility in the Spokane Airport Business Park, said company spokeswoman Catherine England.
Netflix, which is publicly traded, now has 30 of those centers around the country. Their role is to provide quick handling of DVDs for the firm’s 2.6 million U.S. subscribers. The company also operates in the United Kingdom.
The company is the largest online movie-rental business. For a monthly fee, Netflix sends movies to its subscribers based on a request list each subscriber creates online. Subscribers keep the films as long as they choose. When they send a movie back, Netflix sends the next title on the list.
The company keeps a catalog of nearly 30,000 movies and classic TV shows. Netflix sends all its movies via first-class mail, ensuring items get to customers quickly, England said.
Up to now, Netflix customers in Washington have received their DVDs from a Tacoma shipping center. Starting soon, customers in Spokane and in Idaho will be getting and returning those items through Spokane, England said.
England said the center would open soon, but couldn’t say exactly when.
Netflix doesn’t disclose how many people work in its shipping centers, she added.
The company’s approach is to place low-cost shipping centers around the country in an attempt to provide one-night delivery to movie-watchers.
“We’ve found that when we give subscribers that overnight delivery, there’s a ‘wow’ factor,” England said.
One key factor in the company’s choice of locations was proximity to the West Plains mail center at the airport business park, said Todd Woodard, an airport spokesman.
“They (Netflix) have said to us they anticipate growth from this facility,” Woodard said.