V-commerce: Walmart’s Store N°8 and DreamWorks create VR retailtainment experience

Walmart’s Store N°8 and DreamWorks Animation have come together to create a new virtual reality (VR), retailtainment, V-commerce experience.

The immersive V-commerce activation offers a glimpse into the future of retail and merchandising, and is tied to the upcoming cinema release of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

Powered by HP, Intel and Positron, this VR-driven retailtainment event will feature How to Train Your Dragon merchandise in a branded, immersive gift shop.

The experience is directed by Kurt Mattila and Gil Zimmerman, and produced by Armand Weeresinghe. It comes from Spatial&, the newest portfolio company from Walmart’s Store N°8 – the incubation arm of Walmart. The innovation hub illustrates how retail is trying to adapt and include more immersive entertainment to compete with online shopping.

Spatial&, a V-commerce startup, is focused on creating next generation retail experiences using cutting-edge technology and storytelling tools.

V-commerce and retailtainment

Visitors will begin their journey in an onboarding room where they are greeted by the film’s twins Ruffnut and Tuffnut.

They are then taken into a dragon’s cave to suit up in headsets, and sit in Positron motion VR chairs powered by the HP VR backpack, before taking a five-minute trip through the Hidden World with the help of Astrid, Hiccup, Toothless, Hookfang and more, using real-world sound, motion and sensory cues.

“We have set an extremely high bar for quality and innovation for the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, and our partners at Spatial& exceeded our expectations with their incredible work on this project,” said Abhijay Prakash, chief operating officer of DreamWorks Feature Animation.

“This latest Dragon film displays DreamWorks’ best in class creative abilities combined with state of the art advances in animation technology, and we are thrilled that this experience created by Spatial& lives up to that reputation while allowing fans to journey straight to the center of this unique world we’ve created for the film. It’s a truly exhilarating experience.”

The How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Virtual Tour is a great opportunity for our customers to engage with this fantastic franchise. It’s also the most recent example of how Walmart continues to use emerging technologies, including virtual reality, to enhance the experiences of shoppers across the country,” said Scott McCall, senior vice president for entertainment, toys and seasonal, Walmart US.

Following the VR experience, participants are taken to a How to Train Your Dragon themed gift shop where they can purchase memorabilia, including plush toys, action figures, DVDs and video games.

Select merchandise from the collection will be available in 2,000 Walmart stores nationwide and online. The How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Virtual Tour will run between February 15 and April 9.