Famous department store Bloomingdale’s is commemorating its 150th anniversary with a brand-new virtual store created by Emperia that will launch on September 9 during New York Fashion Week.
The idea of online department stores is not new. You might remember eBay acting in a similar manner in 2013 and more recently, individual brands. In fact, Bloomingdale’s has been working on the idea for a while as it developed stronger ties with its retailers and clients.
Frank Berman, chief marketing officer of the department store, wrote in an email to TechCrunch that over the past ten years, the business had “experimented with virtual fashion shows and interactive windows,” but that the 150th anniversary “gave us the opportunity to think bigger and put our customers front-and-center.”
“Working with Emperia, we were able to see the potential of creating an immersive, virtual shopping experience which was a natural progression of our legacy, including 360-degree views of exclusive luxury products, an interactive 40 Carrots frozen yogurt experience, Big Brown Drones and lots of fun surprises,”
Polo Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, David Yurman, MCM, Byredo, and Baccarat will be among the brands featured in Bloomingdale’s virtual store at first. Berman described the department store’s future possibilities as “endless” and “not limited to physical space.”
Meanwhile, the company’s presence in the metaverse is now focused on multi-generational customers and providing new experiences based on how differently each generation prefers to shop, according to Berman.
“Virtual showrooms in the metaverse is the next phase of where the retail industry is going, and it provides an opportunity for customers to have an engaging, immersive experience that connects them to the brand and our store while also enabling us to see what users are most interested in through unique data insights,” he said. “In a way, moving into the metaverse is really just an extension of what Bloomingdale’s has been doing for 150 years.”