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11/21/2022

Bloomingdale’s opens multi-brand metaverse store for holidays

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Bloomingdale’s metaverse store features a virtual Ralph Lauren ski chalet (Source: Emperia).

Bloomingdale’s has unveiled a virtual holiday store in the metaverse that features themed  spaces for specific brands. 

The upscale department store retailer is expanding an existing partnership with retail and fashion virtual reality (VR) technology developer to introduce a metaverse shopping experience. Bloomingdale’s new virtual store includes unique spaces for Chanel, Ralph Lauren, and Nespresso, in addition to features such as a luxury beauty/spa room, party room, and gifting experience.

Shoppers can transition between brands through a virtual “elevator” located in the store. The branded shopping experiences include the first-ever virtual Chanel store, located on the moon. The Ralph Lauren virtual store features a forest experience that leads shoppers to a ski chalet, and the Nespresso virtual store brings users to a Parisian café in the winter.

Emperia has created a SaaS platform that enables creative control for retailers and brands to update merchandise and change store decor to make maintaining a virtual space seamless and completely aligned with retailers’ physical store operations. Bloomingdale’s metaverse store is available for access on its e-commerce site.

“Emperia believes that the multi-brand virtual experience will become the new department store of the future,” said Olga Dogadkina, co-founder & CEO of Emperia. “The virtual environment provides endless opportunities for brand creativity, design, and user engagement, breaking barriers of accessibility and physical space limitations - providing a new technology playground for retailers.”

Bloomingdale’s honors history in the metaverse

Bloomingdale’s initiated its metaverse collaboration with Emperia in September 2022 with a virtual store introducedduring New York Fashion Week. It features a video of the evolution of the brand from Bloomingdales’ initial establishment to the present; in addition to games, surprises and a Bloomingdale's unique collection, designed exclusively for its anniversary celebrations.

The metaverse store features exclusive collections from brands such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, David Yurman, MCM, Byredo, and Baccarat.

Bloomingdale’s makes livestream debut with holiday series

In addition to expanding its metaverse shopping presence, Bloomingdale’s is alsomaking its first foray in livestream commerce during the 2022 holiday season. Through the end of the year, two Bloomingdale’s Outlet stores will host a six-week, 10-episode holiday livestream shopping series in partnership with global livestream shopping app ShopShops.

The events focus on gift-giving and styling during the holiday season, offering real-time shoppable content and virtual fashion and shopping advice from ShopShops host-sellers. The hosts answer questions via real-time chat, model and style potential purchases, and offer first-hand reviews.

A division of Macy's Inc. Bloomingdale’s currently operates 34 Bloomingdale's stores and 20 Bloomingdale's The Outlet stores in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia. In addition, Bloomingdale's has an international presence with locations in Dubai and Kuwait.