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February 24, 2022

Benetton creates virtual twin of flagship store in metaverse 

Italian clothing retailer United Colors of Benetton is transforming its Corso Vittorio Emanuele store in Milan to mirror the brand’s virtual store in the metaverse, where visitors can obtain QR codes to make purchases in physical stores.

By Fi Forrest

Benetton says it wants the store to offer ‘a brand experience that is increasingly immersive and, above all, in tune with the language of young people.’

The temporary set-up coincides with Milan Fashion Week and will remain in store for four weeks to attract ‘visitors’ to its metaverse store. To mark Fashion Week (22 February- 8 March) the Milan flagship store has been redecorated in pink. 

The aim is to encourage customers to participate in the gaming experiences that will allow them to accumulate QR codes that can be used to make purchases in the retailer’s physical shops. The brand hopes this will create an additional touchpoint with the consumer as the virtual store will open at the same time with the same experiential look and feel.     

“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.” 

The virtual store will offer an experience mirroring what shoppers can expect when they visit the Corso Vittorio Emanuele location in the coming weeks.

“We want to turn the immersive experience on its head,” says 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 potential of the metaverse has proved extremely attractive for fashion brands.

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