Sears, Kohl's, J.C. Penny Warm To Virtual Worlds

A lot of retailers have been tinkering with the idea of using virtual online worlds as a marketing tool, but there haven't been many major retailers committing to the strategy, with the possible exception of Circuit City. As major chains are doubling up their focus on computer-savvy young consumers, though, other major chains are finding their aversion to avatars giving in to their adoration of avarice.

Sears, Kohl's and J.C. Penny are the latest chains to try selling clothes in popular teen virtual worlds, allowing users to purchase apparel for online avatars. The retailers are teaming up with avatar sites and animating actual apparel lines that teens and tweens can place on their avatar characters, according to this Wall Street Journal piece.