A few months after announcing its entry into The Sandbox (SAND) metaverse, Gucci has announced that cryptocurrencies will now be accepted in some of its U.S. retail outlets. This is a significant step towards the world of Web 3.0, especially as the Italian brand hopes to eventually develop this payment method in all of its stores.
Gucci accepts cryptocurrencies as a payment method
Some time after entering the metaverse of The Sandbox (SAND), Gucci continues to show its interest in Web 3.0 and cryptocurrencies.
Indeed, starting at the end of May, the brand will accept more than a dozen cryptocurrencies in 5 of its stores in the United States, including the one located on Wooster Street in the heart of New York, the one on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles and the one in Miami Design District.
The brand will accept reference crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Wrapped Bitcoin (wBTC), but also 5 stablecoins backed by the dollar as well as Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu (SHIB).
As for payments, when a customer makes a purchase in the store, he or she will receive an email containing a QR code allowing him or her to validate the transaction directly from his or her own digital wallet.
It is then up to the retailer to keep the assets in the form of cryptocurrencies or to turn them into fiat currency, such as the US dollar as far as these stores are concerned. According to the release, Gucci hopes to eventually develop this new payment method in all its stores.
Gucci is not the first luxury brand to integrate cryptocurrency payments in its establishments. Indeed, Off-White, the brand of Virgil Abloh, already accepts this type of payment in its eponymous stores in Paris, London and Milan.
We could also mention the brand Philipp Plein, which, in addition to having amassed more than 150 BTC in reserve, is going to open a gallery of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in one of its stores in London. In both cases, these are high-end streetwear brands oriented towards a relatively young audience.
The appeal of luxury to cryptocurrencies
Gucci’s interest in Web 3.0 is nothing new, as previously demonstrated by its “Gucci Garden” interactive experience, which managed to gather no less than 19 million people.
The brand has also developed exclusive skins for video games such as Animal Crossing or Pokemon Go, as did the famous British brand Burberry for the game Honor of Kings.
In order to educate its teams about this new world, Kering, Gucci’s parent company, recently launched an in-house game in partnership with the Al Dente agency. According to one of the company’s spokespersons, the number of employees who showed interest was much higher than expected.
According to Marco Bizzarri, Gucci’s CEO, these are all new features that improve the experience of its customers:
“Now that we are able to integrate cryptocurrencies into our payment system, it is a natural evolution for customers to have this option.”
We also recall LVMH’s collaboration with Microsoft and Consensys to develop a product traceability platform using blockchain technology, a project that dates back to 2019 already.
More recently, Hermès, one of the flagships of French luxury, announced that the metaverse was a good communication tool. Its CEO, Axel Dumas, had said on that occasion that he was “curious and interested” in these virtual worlds.