Walmart looks to push into the Metaverse
Walmart looks to be preparing to break into the Metaverse with plans to release an NFT collection and introduce its own cryptocurrency.
In late December, the multinational retail store applied for a couple of trademarks, expressing intent to make and sell electronics, home decorations, toys, sporting goods, and personal care products as virtual goods.
One application details the provision of virtual currency to users, including the ability to trade NFTs. Another states a possible “physical fitness training services” and “classes in the field of health and nutrition” that could take place in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality environments (VR). One even indicated that Walmart might offer a virtual shopping experience.
Reports say seven different trademark filings were submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
“Walmart is continuously exploring how emerging technologies may shape future shopping experiences,” Walmart spokesperson Carrie McKnight said. “We don’t have anything further to share today, but it’s worth noting we routinely file trademark applications as part of the innovation process.”
Walmart has been gradually preparing for this transition into blockchain technology. In August 2021, the company announced it was looking for applicants to fill a 'digital currency and crypto product lead' role. A few months later, in October, it partnered with crypto ATM company Coinstar and crypto-cash exchange, Coinme to install Bitcoin kiosks in its US stores.
After Facebook announced its metaverse-based rebranding last year, several brands have been jumping on the bandwagon, hoping to be early adopters of this new tech.
Sporting goods giant Nike also filed several trademarks in November stating plans to sell branded virtual clothing and footwear. Japanese video game company Sega also applied for NFT trademarks recently.
Other brands have chosen to tokenize goods as NFTs and auction them, generating an additional source of income. Gap and Pepsi are some examples that have made money from NFTs.