Topshop on Oxford Street is the place to go for many young fashion trendsetters, and the retailer took things one step further by adding a water slide you can actually ride. The store in central London is well known for its creative shop displays, and this display was like no other.
The London shop window was transformed into an interactive pool scene, dubbed Splash! Customers could sit at the top of the water slide on an inflatable of their choice and, with the magic of an Oculus headset, be catapulted into a 360-degree virtual reality water slide ride along the length of Oxford Street, with a few Topshop-themed surprises along the way. The slide marked the start of summer for Topshop, and it is definitely a different way to get shoppers into the summer spirit.
The bright blue slide also snaked its way around the store on the ceiling, with flashing lights running through it, creating an impression of running water. The end of the slide came down into the store, where customers could sit and have their picture taken.
Sheena Sauvaire, Topshop’s global marketing and communications director, said of the window project, “It’s exhilarating. A lot of people haven’t experienced VR, full-stop, and the fact that they can say they first tried it and were at the gateway of the new and the next in Topshop in London would be fantastic.”
This is not the first time Topshop has used VR in its store. In 2014, the retailer broadcast their London Fashion Week catwalk at Tate Modern live in a 360-degree immersive VR experience to shoppers in Oxford street.
And Topshop is not the only retailer who uses virtual reality and augmented reality in their stores for shoppers. For John Lewis’ 2016 Christmas display, they implemented a VR experience in store, where customers could join in with the dog Buster, the central character of their Christmas marketing campaign, by using a headset and trampoline. You can read more about it here.
With virtual reality becoming more accessible, and the endless possibilities it promises, we are sure to see the technology further developed, enhanced and embraced by retailers looking for ways in which to further engage their customers.