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12/17/2021

Forever 21 enters metaverse with Roblox store

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Forever 21
Forever 21 is joining the Roblox platform.

Forever 21 is the newest retail player on the popular Roblox gaming platform.  

The fast fashion retailer is partnering with metaverse creation company Virtual Brand Group to build a fashion retail experience on Roblox. Called “Forever 21 Shop City,” the experience is designed to allow Roblox users to own and manage a personal virtual store.

With this step, Forever 21 is moving toward the completely integrated omnichannel “metaverse” that Meta (formerly Facebook) recently announced it is attempting to develop.

[Read more: Editor’s commentary: What could the ‘Metaverse’ mean for retail?]

In the virtual world of “Forever 21 Shop City,” customers will be able to buy and sell the retailer’s merchandise, including accessories and clothing, hire non-player characters (NPCs) as employees, and customize every aspect of their own store as they try to become the “top shop” in the experience. Forever 21 Shop City is being launched in collaboration with a number of popular Roblox content creators and influencers, who are creating exclusive items and personally designed stores for the experience.

In addition, a virtual flagship store located at the hub of Forever 21 Shop City enables users to get drops of new merchandise for themselves and their stores, restock inventory, socialize with others, and check out new design elements to use in their stores. As Forever 21 releases new collections in its physical and e-commerce stores, Forever 21 Shop City will simultaneously offer the ability to add the same merchandise to each store or buy it for a customer’s Roblox avatar.

All users start with a ready-to-be-customized sleek glass store. As they succeed at in-game virtual tasks, users earn points to expand their store. This includes adding additional floors and options, as well as customized exteriors with lights and architectural themes including Cottage Core, FutureScape, Cyber Punk, Eco-Urban, and Malibu Mansion.

Forever 21 Shop City also features four themed districts including entertainment, obstacle course, food court and yellow carpet, where users can role play, meet up with friends, discover hidden rare items, and build their community.

Other key features of Forever 21 Shop City include:

  • Store location: Shop builders will be able to choose and swap their locations anywhere in-game.
  • Tasks: Users run their store with real life functionality including stocking inventory, working different jobs, assisting customers, operating the cash register, hiring employees and decorating their storefront windows.
  • Interior customization: Users will be able to buy, place, mix and match assets within their store from furniture and fixtures to art, lighting and music that suit their style.

Every 21st of each monthForever 21 Shop City will have “Forever 21 Day,” integrating new themed content and activities. Dec. 21 will mark the first-ever Forever 21 Day and will commence with a holiday-themed update.

Retailers inside the fashion vertical are beginning to explore the potential of marketing and even selling virtual products. Luxury apparel brand Ralph Lauren is running a holiday-themed digital promotion, The Ralph Lauren Winter Escape, on Roblox from Dec. 8, 2021 – Jan. 3, 2022. A gender-neutral, digital clothing collection featuring limited-edition items will launch within the experience.

In June 2021, teen apparel retailer PacSun also partnered with Roblox to make select clothing items available in the Roblox Avatar Marketplace. Roblox players can use their “Robux” online currency (purchased with regular currency) to customize their in-game avatars with Pacsun-branded clothing and fashion accessories.

“With Forever 21 Shop City, our goal is to expand how we engage with customers, extending our presence and product in new ways,” said Katrina Glusac, chief merchandising officer at Forever 21. “We’re excited to provide a new space on Roblox where our fans can connect with their community and bring their own vision of Forever 21 to life.”

“The metaverse is the most transformative innovation since the creation of the internet. Roblox is one of the platforms creating the biggest business opportunities for brands with more than 50 million daily active users who socialize and live digital lives for hours every day, just like my son, daughter and all their friends do. That’s why I created the Virtual Brand Group,” said Justin Hochberg, Virtual Brand Group CEO. “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 content from Forever 21 in-game and finding ways for Roblox UGC creations to exist IRL.”