Walmart is quietly preparing to enter the metaverse

4 months ago

A shopper carries a container extracurricular a Walmart store successful San Leandro, California, connected Thursday, May 13, 2021.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Walmart appears to beryllium venturing into the metaverse with plans to make its ain cryptocurrency and postulation of non-fungible tokens, oregon NFTs.

The big-box retailer filed respective caller trademarks precocious past period that bespeak its intent to marque and merchantability virtual goods, including electronics, location decorations, toys, sporting goods and idiosyncratic attraction products. In a abstracted filing, the institution said it would connection users a virtual currency, arsenic good arsenic NFTs.

According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Walmart filed the applications connected Dec. 30.

In total, 7 abstracted applications person been submitted.

A spokesperson from Walmart didn't instantly respond to CNBC's petition for comment.

"They're ace intense," said Josh Gerben, a trademark attorney. "There's a batch of connection successful these, which shows that there's a batch of readying going connected down the scenes astir however they're going to code cryptocurrency, however they're going to code the metaverse and the virtual satellite that appears to beryllium coming oregon that's already here."

Gerben said that ever since Facebook announced it was changing its institution sanction to Meta, signaling its ambitions beyond societal media, businesses person been rushing to fig retired however they volition acceptable into a virtual world.

Nike filed a slew of trademark applications successful aboriginal November that previewed its plans to merchantability virtual branded sneakers and apparel. Later that month, it said it was teaming up with Roblox to create an online satellite called Nikeland. In December, it bought the virtual sneaker institution RTFKT for an undisclosed amount.

"All of a sudden, everyone is like, 'This is becoming ace existent and we request to marque definite our IP is protected successful the space,'" said Gerben.

Gap has besides started selling NFTs of its iconic logo sweatshirts. The apparel shaper said its NFTs volition beryllium priced successful tiers ranging from astir $8.30 to $415, and travel with a carnal hoodie.

Gerben said that apparel retailers Urban Outfitters, Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie & Fitch person besides filed trademarks successful caller weeks detailing their intents to unfastened immoderate benignant of virtual store.

—CNBC's Melissa Repko contributed to this reporting.