In another retail melding of the real and the virtual, West Elm has announced the launch of its own virtual world, West Elm Home Design, on Roblox, a global VR platform,
West Elm pointed out that it is the first major specialty home retailer to premiere on Roblox. Already, West Elm noted, the Roblox platform brings 52 million daily users together through shared experiences. The West Elm debut into the metaverse will include a virtual experience, high-fidelity design and unprecedented photorealism that will appeal to new and existing fans of the Williams-Sonoma banner and design enthusiasts, the company asserted.
The West Elm Home Design experience comprises the West Elm Hub and the West Elm Neighborhood. The hub features a furniture store, coffee shop and merchandise boutique. It enables users to customize their homes with over 150 products, replicated to be nearly identical to the physical goods. In the West Elm Neighborhood, users can acquire design-forward homes then fill them with West Elm furniture, lighting, garden and decorative accessories. Users can also collect West Elm branded avatar accessories such as T-shirts, hats and bags. In both cases, the technology provides users with tools and pieces to express their personal style by creating and decorating their environments for virtual living and socializing.
“We’re excited to expand our company into the metaverse and connect West Elm with the millions of daily Roblox users around the world,” said Williams-Sonoma, president and CEO, Laura Alber said in introducing the virtual move. “The launch of West Elm Home Design makes our company the first specialty home retailer on the powerful Roblox platform, and we look forward to welcoming users to the West Elm Neighborhood.”