Selfridges opens first metaverse department store as Fashion Week adds virtual element

Selfridges opens on the Metaverse

As part of Fashion Week’s push into the metaverse, Selfridges opened the first “metaverse department store”, with 70 participating brands.

As part of Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week, the store is offering shoppers the chance to view exclusive NFTs from Paco Rabanne and the Vasarely Foundation in a virtual store and is also set up to accept crypto-payments.

The retailer joins Tommy Hilfiger, Etro, Dolce & Gabbana, DYNY, Privé Porter, Charles & Keith and WyldFlwr to open virtual stores during Fashion Week this month, each offering exclusive NFT versions of items for sale for use elsewhere in the metaverse, as well as NFTs that can be exchanged for exclusive real-world goods.

Virtual sites can also be clicked through to regular brand and retailer e-commerce sites, showing how the metaverse can still drive more real-world sales.

According to the latest RetailX luxury industry report, the metaverse is increasingly seen as a booming new market for luxury fashion retail, both for the sale of luxury apparel and accessories. for avatars in the virtual world, as well as a more standard e-commerce on-ramp.

The big luxury brands are already timidly exploiting this new way of selling. The Gucci Garden, for example, features a pop-up on Roblox that sells the brand’s designs – sold a single bag for over $4,000 in real money. Additionally, the venture capital arm of Tommy Hilfiger announced a partnership with viral marketing agency EWG Virtual to focus on “v-commerce”, while Burberry created a series of unique playable NFT creations called Sharky. B who live in Blankos Block Party from Mythical Games. Figures include accessories like armbands, jetpacks and pool shoes. The collection of designs sold quickly for almost $400,000.

Balenciag, meanwhile, launched its clothing collection on Fortnite. These “skins” (outfits for in-game characters) are purchased with V-Bucks, Fortnite’s global currency. V-Bucks are purchased with real money, while Dolce & Gabbana sold its nine-piece “Collezione Genesi” collection on the UNXD luxury digital marketplace for $5.7 million.

The metaverse becomes taxing

Although the metaverse is considered a hot new market for many fashion and luxury brands, it still has potential issues, including payments.

According to Jackie Kyle, director of strategy and business development at Digital River, “Those who expect transactions in the metaverse to look like online transactions today might be surprised. Payment methods will evolve and things like tokens or cryptocurrencies might become preferred payment options. Brands will need to have the infrastructure in place to quickly adapt and accept the rapid evolution of payment types and virtual currencies that customers will expect.

“Purchases are going to be taxed, and it’s likely that physical location will still dictate which tax jurisdiction applies to transactions. Although fully virtual transactions are not directly tied to the physical world, a user’s physical location is the easiest way for governments to ensure that no purchases go untaxed.

“Current regulations state that the taxation of services is based on the place or habitual residence of the purchaser, while the taxation of physical goods is based on the place or jurisdiction of delivery.”