Clients of Italian luxury giant Gucci will soon be able to pay for products in cryptocurrency at certain US retail stores.
Gucci will accept 10 crypto currencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin alongside five stablecoins pegged to the USD starting later this month, the brand said Wednesday. The pilot program will initially be limited to its retail stores in Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta and Las Vegas.
The move comes as luxury brands race to experiment with tools linked to blockchain and the metaverse in a bid to explore the buzzy space, as well as to foster visibility and camaraderie among early adopters of the technologies, many of whom have seen their cryptocurrency holdings rise in value.
Gucci has recently sold non-fungible tokens and virtual sneakers as well as staged virtual-reality brand activations while LVMH-owned Fendi launched a line of crypto “wallets.” Designer Phillip Plein declared himself the “crypto king” last summer after becoming the first luxury brand to accept the digital tokens as payment.
”This is the next phase of the company’s Web 3.0 journey,” Gucci’s statement said.
Gucci is trying to drive buzz and accelerate sales in the key US market, which has been driving luxury’s growth since the pandemic. The brand has climbed back above 2019′s pre-coronavirus levels, but its sales are growing more slowly than at rival “megabrands” like LVMH’s Louis Vuitton or family-controlled Hermès.
Will Luxury Brands Start Accepting Crypto?
Philipp Plein is going for it, and some of the industry’s biggest brands have considered accepting Bitcoin, Ethereum and other blockchain-based payments. But the risks might still outweigh the benefits for more established players.