United Colors of Benetton will transform its Corso Vittorio Emanuele store during Milan Fashion Week, aligning it with the brand’s new shop in the metaverse, which will open at the same time with the same experiential look and feel.
The term metaverse denotes a new generation of virtual reality, in which new technologies will make online interaction increasingly like that experienced in the real world. Thanks to investments announced in this area by companies like Facebook, the metaverse has established itself in just a few months as the computing platform of the future, with incredible potential from a media and creative perspective.
“We want to turn the immersive experience on its head,” states Massimo Renon, CEO of Benetton Group. “We will achieve this by creating the same emotional ecosystem in physical retail as will be available in the new virtual store in the metaverse, which will open in the next few weeks. Anyone visiting our Milan shop in Corso Vittorio Emanuele over the next few days will be able to immerse themselves in a world where physical reality and digital connection come together in an explosion of creativity, colour and sound.”
The United Colors of Benetton store in the metaverse will, however, take a fresh approach. ‘Visitors’ will not buy clothes but will instead participate in gaming experiences that will allow them to accumulate QR codes, which can then be used to make purchases in physical shops. In this manner, the brand creates an additional touchpoint with the consumer, enhancing its omnichannel strategy.
“We are one of the first brands to experiment with a distributed omnichannel model, one that creates a circular relationship between the physical world and the metaverse,” explains Antonio Patrissi, Chief Digital Officer of Benetton Group. “The aim is to offer a dimensional link between the present and the future, the real and the virtual, through a brand experience that is increasingly immersive and, above all, in tune with the language of young people.”
The virtual store will offer an experience mirroring what shoppers can expect when they visit the Corso Vittorio Emanuele location in the coming weeks. To mark Fashion Week, the Milan flagship store has been redecorated in pink, covering all areas – from the windows to the store interior itself, from hangers to shelves – and naturally emphasising the shades of the Benetton garments.
This temporary set-up, which will feature in the store for four weeks, is accompanied by the #playchange project. From 21 to 23 February, five talented individuals will be sharing their personal stories of change with Benetton, recounting the moments in their lives when they have had to reinvent themselves and take a different approach to allow them to move forward.
The five talents are radio presenter Andrea Delogu, TV presenter Stefano di Martino and social media stars Giulia Paglianiti, Davide Vavalà and Anna Ciati. The three TikTokers will also be in-store on 23 February from 5pm, when they will offer dedicated styling sessions to shoppers eager to try out new looks.