By the end of the month, some Gucci stores in the US will start accepting cryptocurrency payments. In the initial phase, the innovation will affect stores in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta and Las Vegas, and during the summer digital assets will be accepted in all branded stores in North America.
Part of French conglomerate Kering SA, fashion house Gucci initially accepts 10 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Dogecoin and Shiba Inu. The first in the fashion industry to accept cryptocurrencies was designer Philipp Plein’s online store, who spoke positively about this experience: digital assets brought him “many new customers” in the cryptocurrency community.
Kering CEO Francois-Henri Pinault said in February that Gucci and other fashion houses like Balenciaga have innovation departments exploring the possibilities of the metaverse and the decentralized web3. However, he did not promise quick revolutionary changes and even noted that cryptocurrency payments will be accepted “very difficult” legal and financial consequences.
The decision to accept payments in digital assets suggests that luxury brands are trying to speak the same language with the younger generation, although this is not true for all players: French fashion house Hermès CEO Axel Dumas recently expressed skepticism the Metaverse as a way to make money “Easy Money” on hype. Gucci brought in more than half of Kering’s revenue in the first quarter – the fashion house could have earned more had it not been for lockdowns in China as it tries to contain the next phase of the pandemic.