Abstract

Metaverses may seem an illusionary conceptual idea, but according to Morgan Stanley, the market for virtual clothing is expected to reach $56 billion by 2030 (Astakhova and Kalyazin, 2022). Not only the leading luxury brands (i.e., Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga) but also other fashion brands are rushing to the metaverses, i.e., buying stores in the metaverses, partnering with video games, registering patens in the metaverses, even fighting lawsuit over matters in the metaverses. But is participation of digital fashion in the metaverses a wise move for all the fashion retailers in all situations? This paper investigates whether and in what conditions that participation in the metaverse is beneficial to fashion companies by conducting an event study of metaverses related announcements. Based on Resource Based View (RBV) (Barney 1986), we propose that in general, announcements related to digital fashion activities in the metaverses (i.e., initial entering the metaverses, activities in the metaverses) will positively affect the company’s financial performance. When companies enter the metaverse, they are building their VRIN resources (Valuable, Rare, Inimitable and Non-substitutable), which is viewed as a sustainable competitive advantage (Peteraf, 1993) by stakeholders. Due to the unique high-tech supporting nature of the metaverse, the activity success (reflected as the financial market return) of digital fashion in the metaverse is also affected by multiple factors (i.e., firm digital capability, brand name). Digital capability emphasizes more the technological root of IT and the alignment between IT and businesses. Therefore, we also propose that the digital capabilities of a fashion retailer will be positively associated with the financial performance to its digital fashion related announcements in the metaverses. We examine the research questions through event study method and use the Fama-French-Carhart four factor model to analyze the data.

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