Retailers continue to develop virtual offerings as interest in the Metaverse and adjacent technologies increases. PacSun introduced PACWORLD, an interactive mall inside the Roblox video game, while forever 21 signed a rental agreement with Tokens.com for a virtual property that the retailer will use as an NFT storefront.
PacSun began offering digital items on Roblox in June 2021, with its top-selling items being “fantasy”-focused gear like golden wings. The launch of PACWORLD will allow the retailer to build on this success and create its own hub where it can combine fashion, technology and community. The social environment will allow players to own and operate, with the goal of making their malls as profitable and popular as possible. Players will be able to create and delete stores, upgrade well-functioning stores, decorate the mall to try to attract more customers, and invite their friends to visit their mall.
“Innovation and creativity are at the heart of the PacSun brand voice, and we see our audience as the cultural pioneers of the future,” said Brie Olson, president of PacSun in a statement. “As we speak to an all-digital generation, we recognize that Gen Z values community and accessibility more than any other generation, and we have joined Roblox to further strengthen this connectivity with our consumers. Considering that they operate Roblox as a socializing point, we knew that to build our strong emotional resonance as a brand, we needed to continue building alongside them in the gaming world.”
PacSun isn’t the only retailer with a virtual presence in Roblox. In November 2021, Nike launched NIKELAND inside the game, creating a space where visitors can participate in games such as tag, lava floor and dodgeball with their friends. NIKELAND also offers tools that allow players to design their own mini-games from interactive sports gear, as well as a digital showroom where players can purchase special Nike products for their avatars.
Additionally, the Roblox business isn’t PacSun’s only digital initiative. The retailer is also involved in social media activations, strategic campaigns and plans to make NFTs and VR priorities in the coming years. PacSun first entered the NFT space with the launch of the PacSun Wave NFT in November 2021, followed by the Pac Mall Rats series in January 2022 and the second Pac Mall Rats drop in March 2022. PacSun will also launch its first-ever video game, “PacSun the Game”, alongside a relaunched PacSun app in Spring/Summer 2022.
The Forever 21 Metaverse Showcase opened during Metaverse Fashion Week 2022, March 24-27. The dynamic digital store features avatars that act as members of the Forever 21 sales team, ambient sounds, and custom light fixtures. It was launched with ten Forever 21 NFT fashion items inspired by pieces available at Forever 21 stores.
“When Forever 21 first entered the metaverse, we were able to leverage a unique opportunity to connect with a growing audience,” Forever 21 CEO Winnie Park said in a statement. “Being part of the first-ever Metaverse Fashion Week aligns with our mission to encourage self-expression through virtual and physical fashion. We are proud to partner with Metaverse Group as a way to connect our brand to a new demographic group.