The Washington Post's Sarah Halzack wrote (May 10) how visitors to a North Face store in New York City had their first experience base jumping... via Oculus VR (pictured above).
"North Face is among a growing group of retailers testing whether virtual-reality technology — once largely thought of as a playground for gaming nerds — can help bring in big dollars," she wrote.
"It is part of an urgent push by the retail industry to remake in-store shopping for a generation of gadget-addicted customers, turning their bricks-and-mortar stores into popular destinations offering experiences that can’t be replaced by online shopping."
Other examples of VR in today's stores: Intel's smart dressing room mirrors, Marriott virtual hotel tours, Lowe's 'Holoroom.'
Halzack concedes that existing VR technology isn't perfect: some users experience motion sickness, while others complain for poor image quality.
Yet she does not deny the technology's potential for retailers. Among the examples of businesses using VR to enhance the shopping experience, she lists: Intel's smart dressing room mirrors, Marriott hotels allowing guests to take virtual hotel tours via VR, Lowe's "Holoroom" for envisioning home renovations.
By the looks of it, North Face's implementation is a bit gimmicky. But hey, the Washington Post wrote about it. That's some pretty good brand exposure for a unique in-store experience right there.