Forever 21 has developed a virtual retail experience that allows Roblox players to create and run their own virtual stores selling real merchandise
Spotted: Meta is not the only company to pivot its focus to the vast commercial potential of the metaverse. Fast-fashion clothing retailer Forever 21 has recently announced that it will let players inside Roblox—an online games platform—operate their own custom virtual fashion stores within the platform. Users will be able to buy and sell real Forever 21 merchandise, hire non-player characters as employees, and customise every aspect of their store.
The virtual retail experience was developed in conjunction with Virtual Brand Group, a metaverse creation company that specialises in moving global brands into the metaverse. To give the Forever 21 Shop City a flying start, the company is also partnering with influencers such as KrystinPlays, Shaylo, and the Sopo Squad, who will all personally design their own Forever 21 Roblox stores.
Players will start with a ‘ready-to-be-customized sleek glass’ store. They can then buy, place, mix, and match assets within their store, including furniture, fixtures, art, lighting and music. Shop ‘owners’ can also curate the merchandise, select their store location and incorporate real-life functions including stocking inventory, assisting customers, operating the cash register, hiring employees, and decorating their storefront windows.
As they sell, users also earn points to expand their store and add customised exteriors with themes including Cottage Core, FutureScape, Cyber Punk, Eco-Urban, and Malibu Mansion. As Forever 21 releases new collections in the real world, the same merchandise will be simultaneously offered to Shop City owners. Justin Hochberg, VBG’s CEO explained that, “Our collaboration with Forever 21 marks not just one of the biggest metaverse launches this year, but also one that uniquely combines the physical and virtual worlds by delivering IRL [‘in real life’] content from Forever 21 in-game and finding ways for Roblox UGC creations to exist IRL.”
As the metaverse gains steam, so do the business opportunities. From selling virtual fashion that is worn by avatars to art that only exists in digital form – the metaverse is creating opportunities to monetise things that don’t physically exist, in many cases, allowing users to earn money from the digital world.
Written By: Lisa Magloff