Canada Post launches in Second Life

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On Saturday, Canada Post will launch a virtual city in Second Life, where online shoppers will be able to visit the 3D virtual stores of Canada Post's retail partners and shop for real gifts and merchandise.

"There are hundreds of thousands of Canadians in Second Life," said Laurene Cihosky, SVP for Canada Post's direct marketing division, in a statement.

Maple Grove , the name of the virtual city, is being positioned as a comfortable place for them to visit because of its uniquely Canadian feel, she said.

"The post office is the center of many communities across Canada. That's why Maple Grove is part of the Second Life community instead of an isolated island," Cihosky said, referring to the practice of building on a separate island away from the Second Life mainland for which many businesses opt. "Just like your local post office, visitors to Maple Grove can visit Canada Post and send packages or buy stamps, cards and gift cards and send them anywhere in Canada."

The city will include a collection of stores from Canadian and American retailers who participate in Canada Post's lookbook catalog. The lookbook highlights a selection of products from participating companies, with Canada Post handling the orders and fulfillment for most. Retailers in Maple Grove will include Toys "R" Us, The Shopping Channel, Brookstone, SkyMall, Red Canoe and Everything Olive.

Maple Grove will be launched on Saturday with a six-hour virtual live music festival. The virtual city will host additional Second Life events throughout the holiday season, including concerts, film screenings and shopping events.

Many retailers are offering incentives for Second Life visitors.The Shopping Channel will broadcast a variety of special offers, Everything Olive is offering an eco-friendly gift tote with purchase and Brookstone will take $15 off all purchases of $100 or more.

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