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10/27/2022

Claire’s connects physical world to new Roblox environment

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Claire’s roblox
Claire’s is now active on the Roblox immersive gaming platform.

A tween and teen jewelry and accessories brand is entering the metaverse, but keeping a foot on the “real world” ground.

Claire’s Stores Inc. is debuting “ShimmerVille,” an interactive digital world hosted on Roblox, a global virtual gaming platform with 52 million daily users.

At launch, participating customers can outfit their digital Roblox avatars with jewelry and accessories which are also available for purchase in real life at Claire's brick-and-mortar stores. Claire's will also collaborate with select brand partners through limited-edition merchandise, one-of-a-kind pets, themed virtual housing, games and activities.

ShimmerVille initially features six interconnected virtual destinations and is powered by its own economy. Visitors can earn digital currency through retail “jobs,” playing mini-games or by spending time in the experience.

With their in-experience earnings, consumers can accessorize their avatars and virtual pets with a selection of fashion and jewelry; build, decorate and personalize their virtual homes; purchase virtual vehicles, and gain access to special events and partner experiences. The six interconnected virtual destinations in ShimmerVille are:

  • Central Park: A community space which will feature live events at the park's amphitheater in the future.
  • Pet Park and Orb Store: At launch, customers can select from one of 15 pets with opportunities to accessorize.
  • Claire's C-Style Mall: Customers can shop for home furnishings, beauty treatments, and vehicles at the virtual mall.
  • Claire's Café: Serving digital snacks and beverages.
  • Bungalow Valley: Users can build and own a custom virual house and stake a claim.
  • The Galleria: A space for virtual events and partner experiences.

For the concept and development, Claire's partnered with Wonder Works Studio, a next-generation interactive media and gaming company. In addition, Claire's has also made a financial investment into Wonder Works Studio.

Retailers turn to Roblox
Claire’s metaverse entry is the latest signal that the metaverse is developing into a legitimate retail commerce channel. Earlier in October, home furnishings retailer West Elm launched its own virtual world on the Roblox platform

Discount giant Walmart also recently debuted in the metaverse by launching two new Roblox metaverse experiences. Called Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play, the spaces offer original interactive content and entertainment. Walmart Land will offer fashion, style, beauty and entertainment items directly to Roblox users, while Walmart’s Universe of Play will provide a virtual toy destination in Roblox.

Walmart Land will feature a variety of immersive experiences, including a virtual store of merchandise, or “verch,” for Roblox avatars, as well as unlockable tokens and badges that can be earned in various games and competitions. In Walmart’s Universe of Play, Roblox users can explore different immersive toy worlds to earn coins for virtual goods, or complete virtual challenges to build a personal trophy case, unlock secret codes and more.

Other retailers that have launched promotions, experiences, and/or virtual storefronts on Roblox include ChipotleAmerican EagleDick’s Sporting Goods, and Pacsun.

“Claire's has a long-standing history and passion for emerging culture. Our consumers sit at the intersection of the physical and digital spaces, and by creating a footprint in Roblox and bridging those worlds, we are creating a uniquely 'phygital' experience to drive community, brand love and our business," said Kristin Patrick, executive VP and chief marketing officer of Claire's. "We have always been about self-expression, and by reimagining the ways we innovate and evolve, we are celebrating our brand purpose in a whole new way."

"Our entry into Roblox, a platform built on inclusivity and immersion, and our investment in Wonder Works Studio, signify our belief in the integration of the physical and digital worlds and our commitment to continued innovation in the space," said Ryan Vero, CEO and director of Claire's.

"By helping Claire's bring ShimmerVille to life in Roblox, we are pushing the boundary of what was thought to be possible," said Zachary Letter, CEO, Wonder Works Studio. "We've created an immersive and ever-expanding experience that has the ability to generate new, compelling IP with a lasting impact on the consumer in a way that goes beyond the limits of traditional media."

Claire's Stores Inc. delivers an immersive, omnichannel shopping experience via its global brands Claire’s and Icing, with owned and concession stores throughout North America and Europe as well as franchise stores in the Middle East and South Africa.