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Walmart launches metaverse experiences in Roblox

Walmart has developed two metaverse experiences on Roblox servers as a form of outreach to younger audiences and increasingly online customer demographics.

Video Transcript

[AUDIO LOGO]

SEANA SMITH: Shares of Walmart and Roblox trading higher this afternoon after the retail giant announced that it was entering the metaverse. You heard that right. Now, Walmart is teaming up with Roblox to launch two immersive experiences in the metaverse. Now, the first is called Walmart Land. It's going to feature a Netflix trivia experience, a virtual dressing room, and a music festival. The second is Walmart Universe of Play, which is aimed more at kids and has games with characters from such franchises including "Jurassic World," also "Paw Patrol."

Rachelle, this caught my eye because we know that Walmart has been creative in the past, just in terms of trying new avenues to reach shoppers. This, of course, would be a new avenue for them. So they're getting creative once again. But they're also using Roblox as a test case. So if this goes well, it will be interesting to see what their future plays could potentially look like within the metaverse.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: And it does seem to be that sort of safe space to sort of enter the metaverse without fully committing, as we see, obviously, Meta's stock price is still off today because a lot of analysts are saying, look, this metaverse play could be five, 10, 15 years out. But this is a good way to at least establish a presence so that these companies aren't missing out.

And obviously, Roblox itself having its own challenges, now trying to sort of introduce ads coming up next year to really try and bolster the growth that they're seeing. But this does seem to be a safer play for Walmart. It's interesting though, because most of Roblox's uses, about 67% of them, are actually under the age of 17. So this is something that obviously will be involving probably parents having to be coughing up a bit of money if their kids want to sort of work on some of these things in the metaverse and buy the skins and do all the fun stuff. So sort of going through the kids to get to the parents, an interesting play here, though.

SEANA SMITH: It is an interesting play. And you mentioned-- I think this is really for younger shoppers, right, maybe people that aren't shopping at Walmart yet. And we know that Walmart has targeted the younger generation in the past. They've done live streaming events with TikTok and on Twitter. They've also done some AR tools just in terms of Pinterest.

I guess this would be for a little bit of older demographic, so maybe people like me and you just in terms of you can use Pinterest and see furniture in your own home, so kind of more of a realistic view before you pull the trigger and actually make some purchases.

So Walmart getting further and further into the tech space. It makes a lot of sense. And I also think that they tend to set the bar in this space as well, Rachelle. So if Walmart is doing it, I'm sure we can see some of the competitors not too far behind.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: I would think so. And especially when you think holiday shopping season is coming up. Kids are going to be getting ideas for things that they want. And they have all these different places to explore in the metaverse, eventually that does tend to at least somewhat translate into real world purchases.

So I think this is a smart play by Walmart. Obviously, they've done things like trying to expand into banking with their consumers as well. So they're really sort of putting the feelers out there. But I think it's a smart move. A long, very long, long play, but at least a safe step into the metaverse for now.