There’s a good chance that even if you love Walmart, you have never associated the brand with being on the cutting edge of trends or on the vanguard of style. If that’s the case, it’s time to think again. The major big-box retailer appears to be making moves that both align the brand with the buzziest of tech trends and also stand to change your shopping experience down the line. Read on to find out what you need to know about Walmart’s big step into the future.
It looks like Walmart might be planning to create its own cryptocurrency and nonfungible tokens (popularly known as NFTs). CNBC obtained filings from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office dated Dec. 30, which show Walmart planned to register new trademarks to make and sell virtual goods like electronics, toys, sports gear, decor, and personal care items. The company also said it wanted to sell cryptocurrencies and NFTs.
While Walmart didn’t comment specifically on the eyebrow-raising new trademark filings, it did provide a more general statement to CNBC. “We are testing new ideas all the time. Some ideas become products or services that make it to customers. And some we test, iterate, and learn from,” a company spokesperson said.
In the same spirit of experimentation, a spokesperson for Walmart told The Hill, “Walmart is continuously exploring how emerging technologies may shape future shopping experiences. 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.”
In all, Walmart submitted seven separate applications.
Trademark attorney Josh Gerben told CNBC that many companies are scrambling to fit into a virtual world since Facebook announced its company name change to Meta. “There’s a lot of language in these, which shows that there’s a lot of planning going on behind the scenes about how they’re going to address cryptocurrency, how they’re going to address the metaverse and the virtual world that appears to be coming or that’s already here,” he told the outlet.
Walmart is only the latest company to make these tech moves. Nike filed a collection of trademark applications back in November that offered a peek into the company’s plans to sell virtual branded sneakers and apparel. It also said it would join forces with Roblox to create an online world called Nikeland.
Gap has also begun to sell NFTs of its logo sweatshirts. The pricing model ranges from about $8.30 to $415, and also comes with a real hoodie. According to CNBC, Under Armour and Adidas also offered debut NFT collections last month; both quickly sold out.