Walmart appears to be venturing into the metaverse with plans to create its own cryptocurrency and collection of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.
Walmart filed several new trademarks that indicate its intent to make and sell virtual goods
Late this month, the big-box retailer filed several new trademarks indicating its intention to manufacture. And sell virtual items, such as electronics, home décor, toys, sporting goods, and personal care products. In a second filing, the company stated that it will provide customers with both a virtual currency and NFTs.
Walmart filed the applications on December 30th, according to the US Patent and Trademark Office. Seven different applications have been submitted in all.
A spokesperson from Walmart didn’t immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Josh Gerben, a trademark attorney, described them as “very severe”. “There’s a lot of language in these. Which indicates that there’s a lot of planning going on behind the scenes about how they’re going to deal with cryptocurrency. How they’re going to deal with the metaverse. And how they’re going to deal with the virtual world that appears to be coming or is already here.”
Businesses have been hurrying to find out how they would fit into a virtual world since Facebook announced it was changing its corporate name to Meta. Reflecting its ambitions beyond social media, according to Gerben.
Nike filed its plans to sell virtual branded sneakers and apparel
In early November, Nike submitted a series of trademark applications that hinted at its plans to sell virtual branded sneakers and gear. Later same month, it announced a collaboration with Roblox to build Nikeland, an online realm. It paid an undisclosed sum in December for the virtual sneaker business RTFKT.
“Suddenly, everyone is like, ‘This is becoming really serious, and we need to make sure our IP is secured in space,'” Gerben explained.
Gap has also begun producing non-traditional versions of its trademark logo sweaters. According to the fashion company, NFTs will range from $8.30 to $415 and include an actual hoodie.
In the meantime, both Under Armour and Adidas’ NFT debuts last month were sold out. On the NFT marketplace OpenSea, they’re suddenly fetching exorbitant rates.
Urban Outfitters, Ralph Lauren. And Abercrombie & Fitch, according to Gerben, have all registered trademarks in recent weeks indicating their intention to create a virtual store.
A report from CB Insights outlined some of the reasons why retailers and brands might want to make such ventures
According to the company, launching NFTs allows firms to tokenize physical products. And services in order to lower online transaction costs. NFTs can also function as a sort of authentication for real. And more expensive goods for luxury businesses like Gucci and Louis Vuitton, according to CB Insights.
More stores will want to develop their own environment around the metaverse and products saved on the blockchain, according to Gerben. More retailers will want to create their own ecosystem around the blockchain as consumers become familiar with the metaverse and items stored on it.