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Walmart Enters the Metaverse in Latest Gen Z Play

Walmart is making another move to generate buzz among younger consumers, entering the metaverse in collaboration with Roblox and joining the likes of Nike, Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren among others on the online gaming platform.

The retail giant is launching two new interactive experiences within Roblox called Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play.

Both experiences are geared toward a different swathe of the Gen Z demographic, with Walmart Land focused on bringing the best fashion, style, beauty and entertainment items directly to Roblox’s global community of over 52 million daily users.

And for Walmart’s Universe of Play, the retailer describes the digital playground as “the ultimate virtual toy destination in Roblox.”

”We’re showing up in a big way—creating community, content, entertainment and games through the launch of Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play,” said William White, chief marketing officer, Walmart U.S. in a statement. “Roblox is one of the fastest growing and largest platforms in the metaverse, and we know our customers are spending loads of time there. So, we’re focusing on creating new and innovative experiences that excite them, something we’re already doing in the communities where they live, and now, the virtual worlds where they play.”

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Walmart Land will feature a variety of features, including a virtual store of merchandise, or “verch,” for a user’s avatar; a virtual Ferris wheel giving users a bird’s-eye glimpse of the digital world; and unlockable tokens and badges that can be earned in various games and competitions.

Walmart Land features a virtual Ferris wheel giving users a bird’s-eye glimpse of the digital world.

Walmart Land debuts with Electric Island, House of Style and Electric Fest as its three major experiences.

Inspired by the popularity of music festivals, Electric Island includes an interactive piano walkway, a dance challenge, a Netflix trivia experience featuring “Stranger Things” star Noah Schnapp and a DJ booth where users can learn to mix different beats.

House of Style features a virtual dressing room, a strike-a-pose challenge, an oversized cosmetics obstacle course and a roller-skating rink, offering products from cosmetics brands including pop star Halsey’s Af94, UOMA by Sharon C., ITK by Brooklyn & Bailey, Lottie London, Bubble and more.

And in October, users can jump into Electric Island for “Electric Fest,” a motion-capture concert celebration featuring performances from artists such as Madison Beer, Kane Brown and Yungblud.

Through Walmart’s Universe of Play, the Roblox community can explore different toy worlds to earn coins for virtual goods, or complete challenges to build a personal trophy case, unlock secret codes and more.

Universe of Play includes five new games that offer experiences featuring products and characters from L.O.L. Surprise!, Jurassic World, Paw Patrol, Magic Mixies and Razor Scooters.

Users can try and collect as many virtual toys as they can to earn coins redeemable for their avatar “verch.” Toys will hang all around, and a Walmart blimp will regularly drop toys throughout the experience.

Universe of Play will also feature e-mobility items like hoverboards, which an avatar can use to travel through the universe faster. Users will encounter a Sharper Image drone that helps them discover some of the hottest toys of the season.

The Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play experiences can be accessed on on any desktop or laptop device.

Walmart’s partnership with Roblox is one of many today in retail, particularly in the fashion realm where brands like Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Pacsun, Vans, Forever 21, and Dick’s Sporting Goods have all created their own experiences with the gaming platform.

The retailer quietly filed for seven metaverse-related trademarks in December 2021. Some of the trademarks indicated interest in making or selling virtual goods and offering users virtual currency, as well as NFTs.

The partnership with Roblox comes at a time when Walmart is trying to bring more customer-facing online technologies to shoppers. The retail giant is delving deeper into virtual try-on capabilities for its apparel consumers, first launching the “Choose My Model” fit technology in March, where shoppers could view what a garment looks like on a model based on their height and clothing size. Earlier this month, Walmart expanded the technology to allow consumers to view what the product would look like on themselves by taking a selfie with a mobile device.

The virtual fitting room features, powered by Zeekit, the platform Walmart acquired in 2021, illustrate the retail giant’s focus on both its elevated fashion ambitions and a desire to capture the Gen Z demographic.

Walmart has teamed up with TikTok, Gen Z’s favorite social media platform, in the past to host livestream events, and has also launched livestreaming shows across additional social networks like Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.