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Call him an early adopter. Tommy Hilfiger has become the first major retailer to implement virtual reality in-stores, according to the New York Times. Hilfiger will use the technology to offer shoppers a front-row view of the brand's football-themed fall/winter 2015 show, which took place earlier this year and features the styles that are currently available in stores.
More than an opportunity to showcase the store's newest stock, though, virtual reality is being used as a way to keep customers coming into stores, as more and more people turn to online shopping. "These days, you can't just wait for people to come into the store and try on your jackets," Tommy Hilfiger's CEO Daniel Grieder says. "You have to provide entertainment. It's not about turnover by square foot anymore. It's about surprise by square foot, or newness."
The virtual reality experience was created in tandem with WeMakeVR, a start-up based in the Netherlands. The company filmed Hilfiger's show using a 3-D camera that used its 14 lenses to film every inch of the fashion show. Now, Hilfiger is placing a Samsung GearVR headset in his flagship stores in the US and Europe to bring the experience to life.
Look for other adoptions of the technology to surface soon as both brands and magazines — Rebecca Minkoff sold her own headsets and InStyle recently used virtual reality to take you behind the scenes of its latest cover shoot with Drew Barrymore — attempt to engage customers using virtual reality.