The dawn of the metaverse is fast-approaching, and although companies like Microsoft and Meta (Facebook) are driving the technology behind-the-scenes, some retail enterprises are taking action to utilize its marketplace potential. Led by CEO Patrice Louvet, a 30-year retail commerce veteran, Ralph Lauren is pursuing money-making opportunities in the virtual and augmented reality dimensions. At the latest annual National Retail Federation conference, Louvet laid out some of his company’s strategies for targeting younger consumers from within the metaverse. The company has already popped up in the online world of Roblox, which boasts 47 million daily active users, launching an exclusive gender-neutral digital clothing collection.
While Louvet may be leading the high-end retail clothing dive into the metaverse, other high-profile retailers are making moves to be among the innovators of virtual commerce. Nike, the world leader in footwear and athletic gear, recently acquired virtual sneakers and collectibles company RTFKT, ensuring it has a cultural foot in the metaverse’s door before competing niche fashion brands. On the side of wide-appeal commerce, Walmart has begun taking the necessary steps to sell virtual goods, everything from home decor to personal care products, as well as to offer virtual currency and non-fungible tokens to its future users. Another luxury brand rushing to join has been Gucci, which has launched its own virtual experience similar to the one Ralph Lauren offers at its Madison Avenue flagship store.