August 23, 2023 • 3 min read • By Zofia Zwieglinska
This story was first published by Digiday sibling Glossy
Claire’s has inked a new partnership with creative gaming studio Super League, as it expands its Roblox presence.
Super League is a leading developer of immersive experiences for the world’s largest metaverse gaming platforms, like Roblox and Fortnite. The partnership, announced today, is part of a bigger push by the brand to build out its metaverse presence, with Super League facilitating more immersive experiences and products.
The launch is linked to Claire’s launch on Roblox’s new Limiteds platform, launched in April. Limiteds allows players to purchase and create limited-edition digital wearables and avatars. Claire’s will launch 10 free limited wearables, including backpacks, over the next 10 days, as a reward to players who complete games in Shimmerville. The free wearables will be a teaser for future paid “limiteds,” according to. the brand.
“We see this as a potential source of revenue, but just as importantly, we see the Limiteds platform as a way to launch new avatars and Claire’s products throughout our brand ecosystem,” said Chris Duncan, vp of consumer insights and digital marketing at Claire’s.
In the future, Claire’s hopes to bring the Limiteds wearables and the digital “pets” it sells in its Roblox game, Shimmerville, to its stores as physical items available to purchase. “We see so much potential for Shimmerville to live beyond a single platform,” said Duncan. “We are approaching it as a unique IP for Claire’s, with possibilities for extension, from physical merchandise to content and virtual fashion.”
Super League president and chief commercial officer Matt Edelman said that Claire’s ongoing investment in Shimmerville serves as a strong foundation for the partnership and for Claire’s future growth on Roblox. “Shimmerville is a persistent experience that serves as a hub for the discovery of amazing new avatar items, as well as original character-driven IP,” said Edelman. “We now have the potential to expand it into a pioneering digital-to-physical-retail-connected program. This formula will become a [playbook] for similar brands and IP owners.”
Claire’s is treating Shimmerville, its Roblox experience, launched in October, as a way to engage with customers and build anticipation for products across physical and digital. The brand has not invested in other gaming platforms. According to Duncan, Roblox aligns with Claire’s main customer group, Gen Z. The age group makes up 67% of all Roblox players according to data from Roblox.
Shimmerville’s monthly visitor numbers fell from 290,000 in February to 67,000 in August, but Duncan said that it is the player rating that matters more. Shimmerville has a 92% player rating, which is based on user satisfaction. Claire’s has no plans to invest in the programmatic advertising opportunity Roblox will be launching this year.
“We are launching new promotions [for Roblox products], while introducing our 17 million-plus Claire’s Rewards loyalty members to Shimmerville. That includes the physical products sold in-store and new partnerships with creators and brands,” said Duncan.
Claire’s has invested in the metaverse and innovative technology since 2022, led by the company’s CMO Kristin Patrick, who joined the brand in 2021. For example, in July, it announced an AI-integrated visual campaign. Building out Shimmerville will remain a focus moving forward, said Duncan. The company last reported revenue for the fiscal year ending January 29, 2022, which was $1.4 billion, a 53% increase year-over-year.
Focusing efforts and investment in one gaming platform, versus multiple, appears to be a trend among brands. For its part, Ralph Lauren has focused on building out a brand experience on Fortnite, launched in July.