Topshop adds VR to flagship to celebrate start of summer

(Author : Sandra Halliday)
To mark the start of the Summer season from now up until June 4, the window of Topshop’s global flagship store on London’s Oxford Street has been transformed into an interactive pool scene, complete with a 360º Virtual Reality water slide, “ready to take customers on a fully immersive ride.”

It’s a major development for the retailer with users starting their VR journey seated on a giant inflatable at the entrance to the slide and then being “thrust into a fictional Topshop-themed world with a few surprises along the way.” Starting at the store, “the ride will see consumers embark on a hyper-real, high-intensity journey across London’s streets, twisting and turning their way through the computer-generated landscape.”

It’s an interesting development for a store that usually grabs more headlines for its collaboration with supermodels and designers or the activities of its controlling shareholder Sir Philip Green.

But it reflects the major impact advanced technology is making on retail and how flagships need to be more than just big and well-stocked, they need to offer one-of-a-kind experiences too. Given that this is as much about marketing as anything, consumers will be able to share the experience with their social followers in a dedicated Splash! at Topshop area within the store. And Snapchat users will be able to access an exclusive Topshop lens available from May 27 “that will see them immersed in a surreal summer-themed aquatic world.”

Sheena Sauvaire, Global Marketing and Communications Director at the company, said: “Topshop Oxford Street has one of the most prominent store fronts in the world. As VR technology continues to advance our desire was to blend it with retail theatre to create an immersive and shareable experience for our consumers, as a fun way to celebrate the start of summer.”

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