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    Kids Foot Locker opens House of Play Roblox experience

    • In an appeal to Gen Alpha, Kids Foot Locker has introduced a new metaverse experience on Roblox called Kids Foot Locker House of Play, according to an announcement emailed to Retail Dive. The virtual experience is based on Kids Foot Locker’s physical store concept, House of Play.
    • Within the virtual space, users can play and compete in mini hoops basketball, the high jump challenge and a speed/parkour track. The retailer’s store associates, wearing the company’s signature jersey, are also represented in the experience to guide players. 
    • Users also collect tokens that can be redeemed for in-game shoes with special powers. Kids Foot Locker House of Play will only be available until Jan. 31, but gamers who have won a trophy can keep it in their digital Club Roblox home after the game ends.

    Kids Foot Locker is joining other retailers in mimicking the physical store experience virtually. Its Roblox game is inspired by the House of Play store concept Kids Foot Locker began rolling out last year, which features play-based experiences like padded climbing structures and a gaming lounge. The retailer opened its first House of Play location in Miami in 2021 and early this year said it planned to open more locations.

    “Self-expression and creativity continue to be two important themes for Gen Alpha. Young people look to the digital world not only as a place to connect with friends and play games, but also as a space to flex creative muscles to express their authentic selves,” the company wrote in its announcement.

    Like Kids Foot Locker, other brands and retailers have turned to Roblox to generate revenue from digital goods and cultivate a following among the next generations of consumers. Forever 21 launched Forever 21 Shop City last year, where players manage stores and compete with each other. And earlier this year, the company integrated its Barbie Summer 2022 Collection within Forever 21 Shop City on Roblox.

    In a similar move, Claire’s unveiled “ShimmerVille,” a Roblox environment where gamers can dress up their avatars with accessories available within Claire’s physical locations. The retailer said it aimed to engage with “Gen Zalpha,” meaning young people who’ve grown up during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    But as retailers and brands try out the metaverse, it’s not entirely clear whether younger shoppers are into it. A Piper Sandler survey released in April found that just under half (48%) of respondents are either not interested in or aren’t sure about the metaverse. 

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