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Dive Brief:

  • Betting big on the future of Web3, lifestyle brand Alo Yoga now accepts cryptocurrency as payment for online purchases, according to a press release shared with Retail Dive. Customers who pay using crypto will be given one free month of Alo Moves, the company’s online fitness class subscription.
  • The DTC retailer will also allow employees to have full or partial paychecks deposited directly into crypto wallets. 
  • Alo Yoga plans to launch a non-fungible token collection and corresponding apparel line ahead of September’s New York Fashion Week, per the release.

Dive Insight:

According to Alo Yoga, which sells athletic apparel and wellness products, Web3 – a new stage of the internet driven by blockchain technology – is “quickly becoming the future of fashion and wellness.”

“The Alo community has grown exponentially over the past few years — they’re fun, vibrant and craving new and authentic ways to engage with us. As early adopters, Web3 has become a large part of their daily lives, and we want to meet them where they’re at. This includes us forging the way for wellness within the metaverse, digital fashion, cryptocurrency and NFTs,” said Angelic Vendette, vice president and head of marketing at Alo Yoga.

Additionally, employees may opt to convert their paychecks from dollars to crypto with no transaction fees, “thus increasing the ease of regular cryptocurrency trades along with earning interest and rewards,” according to the company. Alo Yoga’s decision to provide paychecks in crypto comes during a time of volatility in the market, as well as caution from the U.S. government. The U.S. federal government previously cautioned businesses from providing crypto investment options to employees — a warning which a retirement plan provider is now suing against.

This is not Alo Yoga’s first foray into experimenting with digital technology and spaces. In February, the retailer opened a virtual space in Roblox called “Alo Sanctuary.” Users could attend meditation and yoga sessions, and shop an apparel collection on the platform.

The lifestyle brand joins a group of other retailers experimenting in the metaverse and adopting crypto payment methods. In addition to Gucci, luxury watch brand Tag Heuer started allowing crypto payment online last month. Pacsun and Victoria’s Secret’s Happy Nation have also opened virtual shopping hubs across different platforms. 

The metaverse has been reported by McKinsey to have an estimated $2 to $2.6 trillion impact specifically on e-commerce by 2030, despite the fact that studies show consumers do not have a full understanding of what the metaverse is.

While Alo Yoga sees potential in blockchain and NFTs, data suggests there is a small audience of individuals using crypto as payment for goods. The U.S. Federal Reserve published a report last month on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2021. In 2021, most people using cryptocurrency held it for investment purposes. According to the report, only 2% of adults used cryptocurrency to buy something or make a purchase in the prior 12 months. 

Moreso, the Federal Reserve report stated that those using crypto for transactional purposes were less likely to have a bank account, and 27% of those users did not have a credit card.



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