Retailers experiment with virtual reality

Tommy Hilfiger flagship store on fifth avenue with string lights going up tall columns

Starting Tuesday, shoppers at Tommy Hilfiger's flagship Fifth Avenue store will be able to roam the store and check out the fashions for real or strap on a virtual headset and grab a virtual front row seat for the retailer’s fall fashion show.

The hope, according to the company, is that they will do both. The chance to try out virtual reality will lure them into the store, and once they’re there, the real merchandise will do the rest.

More and more retailers are thinking the same way: Use VR as high-tech catnip, to encourage consumers to check out their products.

Take Jeep. It worked with the virtual reality producer Specular Theory to create an experience “where you literally become a surfer," said CEO Morris May.

What exactly does virtual surfing have to do with selling Jeeps?

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