In The Beginning
VRChat Kmart was founded on the principle of bringing people together in a friendly, welcoming, and nostalgic environment.
VRChat is a social platform where people meet, talk, and hang out in worlds made by other players. VRChat has a very diverse selection of worlds, from mini-games, to movie theaters, to bars and restaurants. Our founder, Eric, figured Kmart would be a shoe in for sure.
On October 21st, 2019 the VRChat Kmart (or internally dubbed as our "Main Store") had it's soft opening as a "sleepover" map. The store only
had bare, low poly fixtures and a video player as the PA music in store.
Based off the store Eric worked at as it was in 1992, the store had it's in store restaurant, the Garden Shop, and auto service center.
The Eatery Express in the store was eventually replaced with a Kmart Café featuring Little Caesars due to
A Growing Community
Through the 2019 holiday season people visited the VRChat Kmart and would role play as associates and shoppers.
The VRChat Kmart Discord staff were starting to take notice, and within a few weeks the server was reconfigured from a general hangout server to a Kmart-centric community.
VRChat Kmart started taking applications, originally requiring applicants to draw on a JPEG image application. Custom avatars with Kmart name tags were soon made, training videos for departments were uploaded, and associates started to call the store their virtual home.
First Holiday Season
VRChat Kmart experienced a massive influx of traffic during December as Christmas shopping was on everyone's
minds. People from all over the world stopped into the - still less detailed - store as the Christmas music
The flourescent lit aisles and nostalgic merchandise made people happy and in the Christmas spirit, many offering their support and kind words to the staff.
After months of the VRChat Kmart Development Team's hard sweat and tears, in 2021, we debuted the Super VRChat Kmart Center. The opening brought new technological feats not possible at the other locations.
All the features of the main store (such as Pharmacy, seasonal Garden Shop, year round Layaway, and amazing avatars) were brought over with the addition of full grocery, bakery, deli, seafood, and drive-thru pharmacy.
The store is pioneering virtual retail technology never seen before, such as funtioning cash registers, inventory system with pricing, and working ATM.
To the Present
Over the past couple years (which feel like forever in the Metaverse) VRChat Kmart has become a staple in VRChat. It's a place where many players can find avatars, meet friends, and take a nostalgic trip down memory lane of an American shopping icon from better times.
VRChat Kmart assembled a Development Team to work on the maps and make them better optimized with more devices, without losing the attention to detail VRChat Kmart is known for.
The community has grown to over 3,000 members, with hundreds of associates working across three store locations. Our Public Relations works with fellow VR communities and collaborates to bring fun events such as commedy nights and Kmart crossovers!
We know Kmart is a special place in the hearts of generations. Even though we may seem like a "corporation" from the outside, every one of us brings to the table the love and compassion it takes to keep a small community going. Our management, our security, our associates, our developers, our shoppers, we all come to Kmart as friends, to make memories, and have fun.
"If it's not fun, why bother?" -Reggie Fils-Aime