In a bid to broaden its appeal with teen shoppers, fast fashion brand Forever 21 recently partnered with Roblox to roll out Forever 21 Shop City in the metaverse.

About the partnership

In Shop City, Roblox users can open their very own Forever 21 stores, “sell” virtual versions of clothes available at its physical locations, and compete against other users to have the most popular shop. As digital shop owners attract customers on the platform, they earn points, which allow them to customize and expand their stores and consumer base.

In a press release about the partnership, Forever 21 ‘s Chief Merchandising Officer, Katrina Glusac said:

“With Forever 21 Shop City, our goal is to expand how we engage with customers, extending our presence and product in new ways. We’re excited to provide a new space on Roblox where our fans can connect with their community and bring their own vision of Forever 21 to life.”

The company also plans to release new features and content on the 21st of every month to boost user engagement.

Initial responses

While in theory, Forever 21 Shop City could be a groundbreaking initiative, many users are unimpressed with the retailer’s Roblox presence, criticizing the user-perspective and navigation of the digital space, the “pushy” branding, and boring gameplay options. As one 17-year old Roblox user commented:

“The game looks alright, but the gameplay from the start is bland… Sell clothes, answer questions, run all the way to the Forever 21 building to pick up more clothes, rinse and repeat. If they maybe had more customization at the start, easier menus to navigate, and some personality, then this game could be decent.”

Even as brands like Forever21 struggle to break into the metaverse, the digital space continues to grow ever more appealing as traditional retailers like Nike, Vans, and Gucci experiment with new online experiences.