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Facebook helps Zara owner sell clothes using video games

After building the world’s biggest clothing empire without using TV and billboard ads, the owner of fashion brand Zara is trying another way to market its dresses, jeans and jackets

Zara recently announced it will sell a range of beauty products in refillable containers for eyes, lips, face and nails. (Bloomberg)

After building the world’s biggest clothing empire without using TV and billboard ads, the owner of fashion brand Zara is trying another way to market its dresses, jeans and jackets, video games.

Spain’s Inditex SA is responding to the shift from physical stores to online sales by teaming up with Facebook and Instagram to develop “Pacific Game” to attract younger buyers to its Pull & Bear brand.

It’s not about clinching a direct sale but building a relationship with younger customers. E-commerce brought a third of Inditex’s revenue last year and a chunk of the $3 billion it’s earmarked for new investments will go to making sure the digital boom doesn’t run out of steam.

There’s been a flurry of deals where clothing brands get to tout their wares inside video games. Now they’re taking their involvement a step further with games of their own to bring more traffic to websites, boost downloads of mobile apps and offer more fun ways to distribute discount codes.

Pull & Bear’s retro-style caper sees a shopper travel from California to Tokyo collecting clothes and avoiding obstacles along the way. Players control the character by turning their face. The game is accessed from Pull & Bear’s Instagram and Facebook accounts and website.

Luxury brand Burberry Group Plc launched a surfing video game as part of its TB Summer Monogram campaign fronted by Kendall Jenner last year.

“It’s about adding that extra piece of magic to a brand so that you’re memorable in the minds of your audience,” said Tim Cooper, director of brand game maker Peek & Poke, which has produced games for JD Sports Fashion Plc and online clothing retailer Boohoo Group Plc.

Meanwhile, Zara recently unveiled a new cosmetics line. The retailer said it will sell a range of products in refillable containers for eyes, lips, face and nails.

The cosmetics will go on sale in the brand’s stores as a new section under the name Zara Beauty. They’ll initially also be available for purchase online from May 12 in Europe, North America, China, South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand before gradually being rolled out elsewhere.

Several of Zara’s fast fashion competitors already sell cosmetics, including its larger European rival Hennes & Mauritz AG. Asos Plc and Boohoo Group Plc do as well. The trend follows a trail set by luxury retailers, including Burberry Group Plc, which have been selling cosmetics for several years.

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