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05/17/2021

Camp stakes out online retail space just for kids

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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A family-oriented retailer focused on immersive customer experience is launching what it calls the first e-commerce platform where kids can safely shop online.

Introduced by online news/quiz site BuzzFeed in 2018 as an experiential store in Manhattan, Camp is introducing a new e-commerce site called Present Shop. The self-described “Family Experience Company” offers Present Shop as an online store specifically aimed at kids ages 3-12.

Present Shop offers gifts for occasions such as birthdays, Father's Day or “just because,” as well as items kids can buy for themselves. 

To initiate a virtual Present Shop shopping experience, a parent or guardian visits the site and chooses the event, budget, shipping and payment information. Kids are given a unique one-time code to enter Present Shop and start their shopping, while the parents' budget is converted into digital "coins.” Kids enter Present Shop in a game-like interface, allowing them to pick out presents until they are out of coins.

Camp’s animated mascot, Scout, helps guide kids through the shopping experience safely and securely with a series of visual and audio cues. Kids purchasing gifts can also design a greeting card which will be printed and packed in a custom gift box that is shipped directly to the recipient. According to Camp, Present Shop is Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)-compliant.

"Grown ups used to give kids a little 'walking around' money to treat themselves every now and then," said Ben Kaufman, CEO of Camp. "Today, kids can't use cash online, and there are very few real-world stores that curate a kid-safe assortment of toys, gifts and treats. Camp's Present Shop reignites the magic we all felt as kids walking through a mall with a $10 bill."

Camp operates five retail locations in New York, Texas and Connecticut, as well as digital platforms.