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06/27/2022

Lowe’s Looking to Build in the Metaverse, Launches Virtual Shopping and NFT Experiences

Liz Dominguez
Managing Editor
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Shopping in the metaverse and other virtual environments

Home improvement retailer Lowe’s is no longer helping to build solely in the real world. The company has launched construction efforts in its first metaverse experiment, building a hub through which it provides free downloads of product assets. 

Via Lowe’s Open Builder, a new asset hub that will be available to all creators, builders can download more than 500 3D product assets that mimic items from real-world shelves. 3D items will include lighting, patio furniture, area rugs, kitchen and bath accessories, and decor accents. 

These can be used across metaverse and non-metaverse environments, including gaming, AR, and creative design. Builders can also use them to make virtual land, homes, goods, and experiences across decentralized communities. 

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Lowe's new open builder platform in the metaverse

Additionally, users will also be able to access a limited NFT wearable collection from the brand, with the first 1,000 builders in Decentraland able to update their avatars with themed boots, hardhats, and other accessories. The NFTs will be accessible via a free airdrop for any users who have a linked MetaMask wallet. 

[Related: How the Metaverse Could Offer Retailers Mega Opportunities for Growth]

The retailer has made strides in recent years to introduce a level of interactive digital experiences, such as with its Measure Your Space tool, which uses LiDAR to map the dimensions of a space, as well as Holoroom How To, a series of home improvement virtual reality clinics. 

Marisa Thalberg, Lowe's chief brand and marketing officer said the metaverse is in a pivotal stage of development, and as the retailer has been at the forefront of building since the beginning, this is the next logical step. 

"It's only natural that we would be interested in working alongside and in service of the emerging community of builders creating this new world, with the democratization of possibility in mind," said Thalberg. "At the same time, we are also very clear on our reason for being – to make homes better for all by helping our customers to create real world value in their homes, in their jobs and in their communities. This will continue to be our North Star in the metaverse."

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Seemantini Godbole, chief information officer of Lowe's, stated that over the past several years, the brand has infused new technologies into its planning and shopping experience. 

"We know our customers have benefited greatly from being able to explore and test home improvement projects in the virtual world before taking the leap to implementation in their real-world homes or job sites," said Godbole. "By entering the metaverse now, we can explore new opportunities to serve, enable and inspire our customers in a way no other home improvement retailer today is doing."

Interested users can access and download Lowe’s 3D product assets via the Lowes Open Builder website through July 20. For NFTs, the experience will be available while supplies last — the first 1,000 participants will be able to claim a limited-edition wearable. 

Several retailers have jumped at the opportunity to test the existing limits of virtual reality, delving deeper into what will potentially be a truly immersive experience in the metaverse. Pacsun has released a series of NFTs, also marrying virtual and real-life shopping experiences. Other companies like Nike and Forever 21 have launched their virtual experiences within the Roblox community. 

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