“PacSun opens metaverse store, auctions NFTs” by Tatiana Walk-Morris via Retail Dive

“PacSun opens metaverse store, auctions NFTs” by Tatiana Walk-Morris via Retail Dive

Courtesy of PacSun

Dive Brief:

  • Joining other brands in experimenting with the metaverse, Pacsun launched a three-level store in ComplexLand 3.0, a metaverse shopping festival taking place between May 25 and May 27, the youth clothing brand announced on Tuesday.
  • Virtual shoppers with customizable avatars can browse curated products from Pacsun, and its resale arm, PS Reserve. Once consumers find an item they want to buy, they’ll be redirected from the virtual store to Pacsun’s website to make their purchase, the company said.
  • The clothing brand is also auctioning off a non-fungible token of a Pacsun Mall Rat in ComplexLand’s virtual gallery. Buyers of the NFT will receive a sneaker from PS Reserve, per the announcement.

Dive Insight:

Pacsun’s entry into the ComplexLand 3.0 festival is part of its ongoing experimentation with the metaverse and blockchain technology. Last October, the apparel brand began accepting cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin and Litecoin via Bitpay to appeal to Gen Z consumers interested in digital assets.

“Being part of ComplexLand 3.0 is a big step for us in the metaverse, coming almost a year after we introduced our first offering of Pacsun branded items on Roblox,” Brie Olson, president of Pacsun, said in a statement. “It is undeniable that metaverse as a whole has an incredible network effort. Not only do consumers find community in the space, but we, as a brand, get to connect with them in an authentic way and ultimately grow our Pac Community in the both digital and physical worlds as well.”

Multiple brands and retailers, as diverse as Forever 21, Crate and Barrel, Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY and Walmart, have turned their attention to the metaverse. However, a Gartner report noted that companies shouldn’t devote too many resources to one metaverse component, because adoption of the technologies in the space is premature and disconnected.

As brands like Pacsun dive into the metaverse and cryptocurrency, it remains unclear to what extent consumers, especially younger consumers, are interested in these technologies. An April report from Vice Media Group and Publicis Groupe’s Razorfish agency found that more than half of Gen Z gamers want to make money in the metaverse and a third want to build careers in the space. However, a survey from Piper Sandler found that 48% of teenagers were unsure of or uninterested in the metaverse. Meanwhile, a survey from Wunderman Thompson Intelligence found that while 74% of respondents had heard of the metaverse, only 15% felt they could clearly explain the idea to other people.

Besides trying to capture younger consumers online, Pacsun has also targeted them with new initiatives offline. Last year, the company unveiled a gender-neutral apparel line for children aged four to 14, available at Nordstrom, Pacsun’s website and physical pop-ups at some of its flagships. Last July, the retailer entered the resale market with PS Reserve, featuring clothes, shoes and accessories that have been vetted through its authentication process. In November, the brand opened its first Pacsun Kids store in the Mall Of America with plans to open five more stores this year.

– Tatiana Walk-Morris

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