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Is Pacsun’s mall on Roblox the start of something ‘metaversally’ big? – RetailWire

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Apr 01, 2022

Pacsun is going all in, virtually speaking, on Roblox.

The retailer, which began introducing digital items on the online game platform last June, has introduced PACWORLD, a fantasy interactive game that enables users to own and operate their own mall with the goal of making it more profitable than others in the space.

“Innovation and creativity are at the heart of Pacsun’s brand voice, and we view our audience as the cultural pioneers of the future. As we are catering to a fully digital generation, we recognize that Gen Z values community and accessibility more than any other generation, and we joined Roblox to further build that connectivity with our consumers,” Brie Olson, Pacsun president, said in a statement. “Considering that they leverage Roblox as a point of socialization, we knew that in order to further our strong emotional resonance as a brand, we needed to continue to build alongside them in the gaming world.”

Pacsun has made digital its top priority. Michael Relich, Pacsun co-CEO, told RetailWire earlier this year that digital demand more than doubled from 20 percent for the chain since the start of the pandemic.  The retailer has focused more of its efforts on store-based fulfillment, to reduce the time it takes to get orders to customers and cut costs.

The company in the past year has focused more of its strategy on using non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and virtual reality to drive engagement with its teenage to mid-twenties customers.

Pacsun moved into the NFT space with Pacsun Wave in November. It followed that up with the release in January of Pac Mall Rats, cartoon rats that wear Pacsun merchandise. The retailer dropped its second in the Mall Rats series yesterday with Reebok coming on as the chain’s first brand partner in the campaign. Pac Mall Rats are available for purchase through an auction on Open Sea with bids starting at $250.

Ms. Olson, speaking at Shoptalk 2022 earlier this week, said the retailer had been talking about entering the metaverse for a few years and has done so in steps starting with being among the first retailers to accept cryptocurrency as payment, Sourcing Journal reports.

“Step two was really trying to take a step back and look at how the consumer’s already integrated into the metaverse, and that was through the lens of gaming,” she said.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is Pacsun on the right track with its metaverse efforts? Do you agree that accepting cryptocurrency is a key element for competing in the space?

Braintrust

“Figuring out the metaverse is going to require trial and error. Some things are going to work while others will fall flat. This could work well for Pacsun’s demographic. “

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