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Walmart is opening a new superstore to target the next generation of shoppers. It’s got it all – clothing, a large cosmetics obstacle course, a roller skating rink, and a Ferris wheel.
Oh, and it’s in the metaverse.
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Walmart (ticker: WMT) announced Monday that it is partnering with online gaming company Roblox (RBLX) to launch two Metaverse experiences, becoming the latest retailer to take a headfirst dive into the emerging industry of virtual worlds. Is.
“Roblox is one of the fastest growing and largest platforms in the metaverse, and we know our customers are spending a lot of time there,” said Willim White, Walmart’s chief marketing officer. “Therefore, we are focused on creating new and innovative experiences that excite them, something we are already doing in the communities where they live, and now, the virtual worlds where they play.”
The company plans to launch two initiatives on Roblox: Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play. Walmart Land will include a variety of immersive experiences, including a virtual dressing room for Roblox avatars for clothing and accessories as well as virtual concerts, games, and competitions. Walmart’s Universe of Play will feature games and challenges that allow users to earn coins for Avatar merchandise.
This likely won’t be Walmart’s final association with the Metaverse. Filings with the US Patent and Trademark Office reveal that the retail giant is looking to create its own cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens.
Over the past year, several retailers have announced plans to set up shop in the metaverse. For example, Nike (NKE) last year scooped up a company making virtual sneaker designs for gamers and has since launched Nikeland, a space that allows users to try on virtual products, while Ralph Lauren (RL) launches digital clothing collection Roblox.
But for metaverse bears, the push toward virtual worlds may be premature. They point to Roblox’s recent financial difficulties. In the latest quarter, the company reported a wider-than-expected loss and said bookings declined 4% year over year. In September, Cowen analyst Doug Creutz began coverage of Roblox stock with a sell rating, saying that a true metaverse “may not materialize within a 5- to 10-year horizon.”
Walmart stock rose 0.7% on Monday, while Roblox rose 1.7%.
Write to Sabrina Escobar at [email protected]