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    Bloomingdale’s launches virtual mall with Chanel, Nespresso and Ralph Lauren

    The department store chain is positioning its new virtual experience as an opportunity for brands to supplement brick-and-mortar operations during the holiday shopping rush to enhance data insights and experiment with new layout designs.

    In anticipation of the holiday shopping rush – and in an effort to capitalize on the recent hype surrounding all things virtual reality (VR) – Bloomingdale’s has constructed a virtual store.

    The new virtual experience also celebrates Bloomingdale’s 150th anniversary. Officially dubbed “Bloomingdale’s 150th-anniversary holiday virtual store,” the space itself has been emblazoned with a sign reading simply ‘Bloomingdale’s 150.’

    In what Bloomingdale’s describes as “a first-of-its-kind multi-brand virtual shopping experience,” the retail giant has teamed up with Chanel, Nespresso and Ralph Lauren, each of which will have their own, separate locations in the new virtual mall. Those three branded spaces have been designed with the playfulness and imagination that has recently been drawing huge numbers of brands into virtual spaces including Roblox, Decentraland and Meta’s Horizon Worlds: Chanel’s outlet is set on the moon, Nespresso’s space at a Parisian cafe and Ralph Lauren’s at “a magical holiday forest,” per Bloomingdale’s.

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    Each of those brands, notably, has already dabbled in virtual experiences. In October, for example, Ralph Lauren announced a partnership with video game giant Epic Games. 

    The new virtual holiday mall, launching today, was developed by Emperia, a company that designs virtual experiences for retail and fashion brands. 

    “This holiday season, virtual stores will be a key component in brands’ e-commerce and marketing strategy, becoming an extension of retailers’ physical stores and aligning with their holiday campaigns,” Emperia CEO Olga Dogadkina said in a statement. “Technology will allow retailers to measure product engagement, demographics, stock demand and layout effectiveness, all in real-time and based on data insights.”

    Bloomingdale’s 150th-anniversary holiday virtual store is accessible via desktop and mobile on the brand’s website. 

    For more, sign up for The Drum’s Inside the Metaverse weekly newsletter here.

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