Buildabearville to the rescue!

Pointing to the negative impact of the economy on retail sales, Clark emphasized promotion of Build-A-Bearville (population: 6 million), a virtual world where bear buyers can interact with furry friends and spend money on virtual items.

To monetize the virtual world, Build-A-Bear will sell $10 Bear Build game cards, which provide players with 10,000 “Bear Builds” to spend on virtual items and virtual transportation: a hoverboard or propeller hat, for example.

In addition to virtual goods, Build-A-Bear expects to generate more revenue from add-on experiences and spaces in Build-A-Bearville, as well as other value options per retail purchase, Clark added.

As gas prices rise and shoppers buckle down, people increasingly turn to online shopping for entertainment and discretionary spending. But in the case of virtual worlds, brick-and-mortar retailers have discovered their true merits lie in whether they can send users back into stores, reports Virtual World News.

“If people engage, we are finding that it does give us a chance to let them know what’s happening in our stores and drive that traffic back into our stores,” explained Dory Krueger, Managing Director of Strategic Planning.

After Mattel’s successful launch of Barbie.com and the popularity of kid-focused Webkinz and Club Penguin in the past several years, retailers began casting an acquisitory eye in the direction of other solvent virtual opps.

Virtual World May Save Build-A-Bear – MarketingVOX  (via Ypulse)

It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything about BBV.  It was one of my favorite VW’s last fall, and still has some great stuff going on within. 

I look forward to hearing about BBV more often.  I do know they have a variety of initiatives – from the “green” movement to community to IP promo (Hannah Montana & HSM).  I am hoping to see them experiment MORE with the future possibility of virtual worlds, other than store-purchase-pushes (which fills the majority of push emails I get from that site).

But overall – i totally love hearing that Virtual Worlds save jobs in this trying economy 😉

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