How can retailers respond to the NFT hype? Selfridges has the answer: it is the first physical retailer to sell NFTs: in this case, digital editions of the optical illusion art by Hungarian artist Victor Vasarely.
Art and retail find each other
“We continue to look at new and exciting ways to reinvent retail“, announced Selfridges Universe. It concerns an exclusive collaboration between the British department store, fashion house Paco Rabanne and the Vasarely Foundation of Op-Art artist Vasarely. Between January and March, the retailer will immerse customers into the world of Vasarely’s optical illusions, both in-store and online, in the ‘metaverse’.
The Selfridges Corner Shop, an exhibition-meets-retail space inside the London store, will display 55 works by Vasarely. These are works coming to the UK for the first time in fifty years. Customers can also purchase no less than 37 of them in-store. Fashion brand Paco Rabanne is also joining the project, carrying Vasarely’s geometric shapes into the heart of its new summer collection. The collection will be displayed at Selfridges London alongside the artworks, accompanied by some of the label’s most iconic vintage dresses.
First physical NFT sale
There is also a significant digital component: some products are available exclusively online, but Selfridges also becomes the first physical retailer to sell NFTs. A collection of rare paintings by Vasarely and vintage designs by Paco Rabanne are on offer as digital artworks. Prices range between 2,000 and 100,000 pounds, paid simply at the till.
Not only is the physical sale of NFTs exceptional, but the fixed prices at which Selfridges offers the digital artworks are also unique. Usually, NFTs are sold by auction through online platforms and are always paid for with cryptocurrencies. Very recently, we wrote an extensive analysis of the possibilities of NFTs for retail purposes.
If you want to experience the optical illusions of Vasarely’s work online, you can go to the virtual reality world Decentraland. Anyone who visits this metaverse can ‘experience’ the works of art. Selfridges is thus taking its first steps into the metaverse and wants to make this virtual world more accessible for consumers.
Selfridges’ co-creation project Universe is a textbook example of innovation in the department store industry. Want to read more about The Future of Department Stores? Click here for more inspiring examples and cases.