Walmart Plans to Enter the Metaverse With Cryptocurrency and NFTs
Walmart appears to be venturing into the metaverse with plans to create its own cryptocurrency and collection of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, reports CNBC. The big-box retailer filed seven new trademarks late last month that indicate its intent to make and sell virtual goods, including electronics, home decorations, toys, sporting goods and personal care products. In a separate filing, Walmart said it would offer users a virtual currency as well as NFTs.
Total Retail's Take: Interest in the metaverse has been catching fire among retailers. In a statement to CNBC, Walmart said it's “continuously exploring how emerging technologies may shape future shopping experiences.” Walmart declined to comment on the specific trademark filings. “We're testing new ideas all the time,” the company added. “Some ideas become products or services that make it to customers. And some we test, iterate and learn from.”
Following Facebook's change to call itself Meta, businesses have been rushing to figure out how they will fit into a virtual world. Retailers including Gap, Under Armour, and Adidas recently debuted NFTs. Nike filed trademarks in early November that previewed its plans to sell virtual branded sneakers and apparel, and also bought the virtual sneaker company RTFKT. And at the 2022 National Retail Federation Big Show, held earlier this week in New York City, the metaverse was highly discussed among industry leaders for its potential to offer real, tangible benefits for retailers and brands. All signs point to more retailers and brands moving into the virtual world in 2022.
Kristina Stidham is the digital content director at Women in Retail Leadership Circle and sister brand Total Retail. She is passionate about digital media and handles video, podcast and virtual event production for both brands. You can often find her at WIRLC, TR, or industry events with her camera and podcasting equipment recording interviews with retailers.
Kristina holds a B.A. in Media Studies and Production from the Temple University Klein College of Media and Communication in Philadelphia. Go Owls! When she's not in the office, she loves to go on long walks, sing around the house, hangout with her two pet guinea pigs, and travel to new places.