By definition, pop-up stores are meant to be ephemeral, but however short-lived they were, they did exist in the physical world — until now. Through a global partnership with Virtual Reality (VR) retail platform Obsess, Storefront is giving brands and retailers the opportunity to rent VR pop-up stores on its platform. For a monthly fee, the renter gets up to 40 products featured, customized colors and logo, choice of layout and style, and the option to collect consumer data.
The VR pop-ups are currently themed to be located in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco, but other virtual locations will soon follow. For example, a VR store in a Manhattan penthouse “atop The World Trade Center” features expansive views of the surrounding cityscape and is listed for $3,000 per month. VR stores must be rented for a minimum of three months.
But aren’t VR pop-ups competition to physical stores and a threat to Storefront’s core business model? “We think VR pop-ups offer exclusive components, collections and experiences that are a great addition and enhancement to a physical space,” said Arielle Crane, Communications Manager at Storefront in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “This VR space is meant to enhance a brand's experience, whether it be physical or online, rather than replace it entirely.”
Retailers with physical pop-up stores can broaden their merchandise assortments in a VR store or test new offerings that could subsequently be brought to physical retail, Crane explained.
“With this virtual pop-up store, e-Commerce brands can get a branded store environment without the need to invest in a physical space — just yet,” said Neha Singh, Obsess Founder and CEO in a statement. “Our goal is to bring the visual merchandising and curation of retail stores into online shopping to make it a more guided and enjoyable experience.”