Granted, it'll take a lot of clothes trying-on, or walking-in-and-out of Best Buy branches to actually earn enough points to redeem against an iPod Touch or Facebook credits, but this Foursquare-like app sounds like a lot of fun.
Having teamed up with a bunch of US chains like Best Buy, American Eagle Outfitters, Macy's, and The Sports Authority, users of the free app receive credits (or "kickbucks" as they're known) just for entering participating stores. Further kickbucks can be earned by trying on clothes, scanning a barcode on your iPhone, or even just picking up an item in a store.
It could get messy for store assistants, having to fend off Shopkick users who are obviously just trying on clothes to earn more points, but I imagine they'll quickly become accustomed to pointing out the chancer in a line-up.
Kickbucks can be spent as credits on participating stores' wares, or as credits on Facebook, on magazine subscriptions, song downloads or even donated to charity. It sounds as though it'll take a lot of check-ins to earn enough to get a freebie, with 1,250 kickbucks earning a $5 voucher to American Eagle Outfitters—that's a lot of visits to a store (which earns you 35 kickbucks), or a lot of walking-past-a-store (which earns just 2 points).
Over 600 individual stores, and 100 malls across the US will be installing Shopkick devices inside the walls, which detect the presence of a nearby Shopkick app. Users of the app can use the map feature to see exactly where the Shopkick stores are within proximity, and even see if their friends are inside a store—not just near it. [Shopkick via NY Times]