Storefront Pressroom

Press Release

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Retailers offered virtual reality stores during Covid-19 crisis thanks to Storefront and Obsess partnership

STOREFRONT, the world’s leading marketplace for short-term retail, is offering virtual reality retail spaces through its partnership with Obsess.
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STOREFRONT, the world’s leading marketplace for short-term retail, is offering virtual reality retail spaces through its partnership with Obsess.

Offline retailers, fashion brands, designers and entrepreneurs are struggling across the globe due to the impacts of Covid-19, with many countries closing non-essential stores and consumers being asked to stay in their homes.

While there are some instances where digital sales are increasing, many brands are struggling to reach new customers amidst fierce digital competition and legacy processes.

With this in mind, Storefront and Obsess have partnered to allow brands to offer their customers a short-term virtual shopping experience in a digital environment.

The virtual reality stores are fully branded, entirely customisable and feature all the retailer’s own inventory. Visitors walk around the store, browse the shelves and purchase what they want.

Storefront CEO, Mohamed Haouache, said: “The current situation is very difficult for retail. Stores are closed and people are stuck at home. While I am sure they can buy much of what they want online I know they are missing going to shops, and the overall retail experience.

“Our virtual retail stores and showrooms provide brands that rely on relationships with their customers to deliver genuine shopping experiences.

“We hope these virtual reality stores will help people feel a semblance of normality.”

The process of building a virtual store is surprisingly quick. The virtual store sits on top of existing ecommerce platforms reducing the need for extended development work.

Obsess Founder and CEO, Neha Singh, said: “With virtual pop-ups, brands can immerse their customers in a branded store environment online and engage them in a deeper way digitally while consumers are at home.

“The Obsess virtual shopping platform brings the discovery and brand experience, which is lacking in the current e-commerce interface, to online shopping in a very scalable way.”

Storefront CEO, Mohamed Haouache, said: “While we see this as a great opportunity for brands to engage with their customers during the crisis, we definitely see it as something that will have a huge place in our future offerings.

“Physical retail isn’t going anywhere and I am confident that when the dangers of Covid-19 have passed we will once again see busy high streets and malls. However, the nature of that retail will probably be quite different. 

“We predict there will be an increase in demand for short-term retail for product launches, events and experiential retail. This is a trend we were already seeing and we believe the impact the global crisis will have on consumer behaviour will only accelerate physical retail’s evolution into ‘experiences’.

“With this in mind we can see these virtual reality stores becoming part and parcel of our regular pop-up stores. When you’re popping up you want to maximise the impact you have so increasing your reach with a digital version of the same store will be key.”

If you're interested in launching a virtual reality store, visit Storefront. Or email contact@thestorefront.com.

About Storefront

Storefront is the world’s largest marketplace for short-term retail spaces. Acting as a

matchmaker for brands and landlords, Storefront helps brands find the perfect venue for their retail pop-up, showroom or private event.

We understand that the nature of retail is changing. Driven by technological change, consumer

behaviour has evolved and retail needs to adapt to keep delivering value. Short-term retail focuses more on experience, reach and innovation.

Long-term 5-10 year leases are a thing of the past. Short-term is the new long-term.

For more information visit https://www.thestorefront.com/go/virtual-reality-stores-retail/  

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Email nmoore@thestorefront.com 

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