Sam's Club, a subsidiary of Walmart, has made a significant departure from its traditional retail focus by filing trademarks for a range of blockchain-based services.
The trademarks, which were discovered by Michael Kondoudis and shared on Twitter, cover a virtual currency for online community use and financial services that involve cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens.
The retailer's interest in the digital assets market is reflected in the healthcare services that it seeks to offer in virtual and augmented reality environments.
The recent trademark applications filed by Sam's Club highlight the growing importance of non-fungible tokens and crypto in general in the retail industry.
Not just warehouse anymore?
Sam's Club is a membership-based warehouse club that boasts millions of members at roughly 600 locations across the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico and other countries.
The warehouse club was opened by none other than Sam Walton, the patriarch of the uber-rich Walton family, back in 1983 in Midwest City, Oklahoma. Its purpose was to make it easier for entrepreneurs to gain access to the products they needed.
A few years ago, Sam's Club permanently closed some select stores in an effort to move to the e-commerce model and compete with archrival Amazon.
Walmart's NFT plans
This is not Walmart's first foray into NFTs. As reported by U.Today, the Bentonville-headquartered retail behemoth started getting metaverse-ready in early 2022 with a set of trademark applications related to crypto and NFTs.
However, it is not clear how far Walmart will actually go with its crypto plans.