Walmart Makes Plans to Enter the Metaverse

  • Walmart has filed several new trademarks in hopes of producing and selling virtual goods.
  • Separate documents show that the retailer also plans to create its own cryptocurrency and NFTs.
  • The retailer joins a slew of companies rushing to capitalize on Web3 and the metaverse.

Walmart will join Facebook, Nike, Ralph Lauren, Bumble, Disney and a slew of other companies that plan to claim their own corner of the metaverse.

The retailer, the largest private employer in the United States, quietly filed several trademark applications in late December, which outlined sweeping plans to sell virtual merchandise. CNBC was the first to report on the nominations.

Walmart has its focus on the virtual world, like many others, including Facebook, which last year rebranded itself as Meta and publicly announced its goals to invest and grow in the metaverse, a virtual space where people can interact digitally using avatars.

In the filing, Walmart lists a variety of virtual goods it plans to sell, including electronics, appliances, clothing, household items, toys and personal care products. A separate filing shows the company’s interest in creating its own cryptocurrency payment method and collection of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.

According to the US Patent and Trademark Office, Walmart filed seven separate applications on December 30.

“Walmart is constantly exploring how emerging technologies can shape future shopping experiences,” the company said in an email to Insider. “We have nothing further to share today, but it should be noted that we regularly file trademark applications as part of the innovation process.”

Despite many companies’ plans for the Metaverse, business leaders still don’t know how to create a full-fledged Metaverse. Morgan Stanley analysts said the Metaverse could be an $8 trillion opportunity, but the challenge will be getting consumers to buy into it. However, Walmart saw online sales boom in 2021, with sales of $11.1 billion in the third quarter according to a Digital Commerce 360 ​​report, which could prove helpful for Walmart’s metaverse ambitions.

“There is a lot of language in [the filings], which shows that there is a lot of planning going on behind the scenes on how they are going to approach cryptocurrency, how they are going to approach the metaverse and the virtual world that seems to be coming or is already here,” lawyer of the Josh Gerben brand told Insider.

A number of apparel retailers have already started creating their own metaverse experiences. Gap launched its first-ever NFT art collection last week, with digital artwork starting at around $9 apiece. Nike spent more than three years on patents describing digital avatars as “cryptokicks”, with the company establishing its Metaverse studio and acquiring digital sneaker company RTFKT in December.

Other apparel retailers like Urban Outfitters, Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie & Fitch have also filed trademarks in recent weeks with plans to open their own version of a virtual store, Gerben said Sunday.

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