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11/22/2022

Kids Foot Locker takes ‘House of Play’ format to metaverse

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Kids Foot Locker & Roblox
Kids Foot Locker is opening a virtual store on the Robox gaming platform.

Kids Foot Locker is interpreting a brick-and-mortar store concept on the Roblox immersive virtual gaming platform.

The athletic apparel and footwear retailer is launching “Kids Foot Locker House of Play” on Roblox. The kid-oriented metaverse experience offers games, unlockable sneakers with powers, and an interactive virtual space.

A virtual interpretation of the play-oriented physical House of Play stores introduced by Kids Foot Locker in late 2021, the game is curated by virtual, jersey-wearing Kids Foot Locker store associates, known as “Stripers,” who appear as non-player characters to guide users throughout the experience.

Players can participate in mini-games, including mini hoops basketball, high jump challenge, and speed/parkour track. Within each game, users can collect tokens that are then redeemed with the Stripers, unlocking exclusive in-game sneakers that grant special powers within the Roblox virtual environment to the wearer.

The Kids Foot Locker House of Play Roblox experience will be available for a limited time through January 31, 2023. Top performers can win a trophy to keep in their digital Club Roblox home.

Retailers turn to Roblox

Kids Foot Locker’s metaverse entry is the latest signal that the metaverse is developing into a legitimate retail commerce channel. In many cases, retailers are tapping the Roblox virtual gaming platform, with its large built-in audience of mostly Gen Z players, as a metaverse commerce touchpoint.

Earlier in October, home furnishings retailer West Elm launched its own virtual world on the Roblox platform that includes interactive playscapes, activity areas, and footwear, apparel and accessories for kids of all ages.

Claire’s Stores Inc. recently debuted “ShimmerVille,” an interactive digital world hosted on Roblox. 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.

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.

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