Gucci is making an effort to connect with those in the cryptocurrency world.
The business plans to begin taking cryptocurrency payments at select stores in the United States at the end of this month.
It plans to extend the trial program to include all its directly managed stores in North America by the end of the summer.
As a premium brand endorsing the currency, this is a huge endorsement.
Cryptocurrency wallets will be integrated into the checkout process so that customers may pay in-store by scanning a QR code in a link sent to them.
The first Gucci stores to accept bitcoin payments are located on New York’s Wooster Street, Los Angeles’ Rodeo Drive, Miami’s Design District, Atlanta’s Phipps Plaza, and Las Vegas’ The Shops at Crystals.
There are over ten different currencies that Gucci will accept for payments, including five stablecoins that are pegged to the US dollar’s value, such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Wrapped Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Shiba Inu.
Dogecoin will also be accepted, a cryptocurrency created as a joke.
Using a QR code or NFC scanner placed on an existing point-of-sale terminal, bitcoin payments are commonly accepted at physical venues.
Using a customer’s smartphone bitcoin software, this scanner connects. It is possible that the payment may be changed to a fiat currency, like US dollars, or that the store will opt to keep the payments in the form of crypto.
Blockchain technology is being tried by more companies, although most of this testing has been undertaken via NFT artwork collections and digital twins that hold product information.
On the other hand, in-store bitcoin payments are still a relatively new phenomenon.
Gucci is taking another step toward integrating its existing physical presence with its rapidly growing Web3 activity by accepting crypto payments.
Gucci has already established itself as an early adopter of Web3 technology, including blockchain, and these payments represent an extra step in that direction.
Exclusive access to pre-order a Gucci collection will be provided to owners of two NFT projects, SuperGucci and Gucci Grail, through the Gucci Vault Discord channel, which was just recently disclosed.
With this move, Gucci has taken a significant step in connecting its embryonic Web3 community and NFT collections to real-world consumption.
“We are always keen to adopt new technologies when they may deliver a better experience for our clientele,” Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri was quoted as saying in a statement.
Now that we can include cryptocurrency into our payment system, it is a logical progression for those consumers who want to have this option open to them,” the company owner said.
Clients who want this choice open to them will find it a logical progression.
Several other high-end establishments have begun testing the use of bitcoin in their payment processes.
It was announced by Off-White back in March that the brand’s flagship stores in the capital cities of Paris, London, and Milan would now accept payments in a variety of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance Coin, Ripple, and USDC (USD Coin and Tether).
When the customer’s payment app gives the QR code, a terminal scans it to get the best possible rate for converting cryptocurrency to fiat currency.
Refunds are only available in-store credit, which may be used to buy future goods.
This is partly because of the extreme volatility of the various cryptocurrencies’ values.
Gucci intends to accept bitcoin purchases returned in the same cryptocurrency as the original transaction for refunds and exchanges in the future.
Customers can upgrade select purchases with NFTs via the Decentraland virtual reality platform, which London-based designer Philipp Plein is now building out.
Upon completion, the shop will be available to the general public. At the time of this article’s writing, Plein told Vogue Business that his firm had already earned 150 bitcoins, which is almost $5.8 million. Plein said this in a February interview with Vogue Business.
To accept bitcoin payments in-store, shop personnel will need extra training.
This is particularly true today because NFT collectors have grown to anticipate unique privileges, such as early access to certain product drops or access to specific regions, due to their ownership.
That’s why last week, Kering, Gucci’s parent company, released an instructional video game for its employees that was developed in collaboration with the design studio Al Dente NFTs and Web3 will be introduced as part of the game.
According to a business spokesperson, the number of employees who have signed up for the program has exceeded expectations.
The Sandbox, a blockchain-based real estate platform, has just been purchased by Gucci, expanding its Web3-focused team and building digital real estate.
Several other businesses are using The Sandbox, including Adidas and Al Dente.
Gucci was the first high-end brand to publish an NFT, and the one-of-a-kind art film it released in June sold for $25k at auction.
Since then, in addition to the Sandbox investment, it has released two new NFT projects and launched a Discord channel.