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OpenSea Executive Says “More Retail Deals” Entering The NFT Space

Rachel Wolfson
Last updated: | 3 min read

Non-fungible token (NFT) sales were down last month, yet the NFT sector continues to thrive according to Kelly DiGregorio, Vice President of Business Development at OpenSea.

NFT data tracker CryptoSlam showed that NFTs had a global sales volume of $624 million last month. NFTs had a volume of over $1 billion in April, therefore demonstrating a 54% drop in overall NFT sales volume.

Major Retailers Show Interest in NFTs


While this may be, DiGregorio told Cryptonews during Consensus 2024 that the NFT sector is attracting retail interest.

“What you’re seeing in the space is actually more retail deals,” said DiGregorio.

“Look at for example, Pudgy Penguins, and what they are doing with Walmart and Target.”

The Ethereum NFT project known as “Pudgy Penguins” recently announced that its line of “Pudgy Toys” is available at retailers like Target, Walmart, and Amazon. The company has now sold over one million units since its toys became available.

Additionally, the project has helped attract mainstream interest due to its unique utility. For example, each Pudgy Penguin toy comes with a QR code that unlocks traits and collectibles inside the Web3 game “Pudgy World.”

Pudgy World is powered by the Ethereum scaling solution, zkSync. This allows players to customize penguin characters and complete story-driven Web3 quests.

“There is this interesting fluidity between physical to digital for phygital NFTs, as opposed to necessarily digital to physical, where you are doing physical redemptions for tickets, merchandise and things of that nature,” remarked DiGregorio.

Retailers Offering NFTs Creates Multiple Opportunities


Indeed, the opportunity around physical to digital NFTs seems to be abundant. In addition to physical toy sales, Pudgy Penguins recently announced a partnership with Mythical Games to create a blockchain-enabled AAA mobile game to launch in 2025.

“Sometimes people are collecting NFTs and they don’t even know that they are NFTs,” added DiGregorio.

“They’re having an experience, playing a game, collecting points, winning prizes and engaging with a community. I think that NFTs continue to have this expansive look into various ways to approach consumers.”

This appears to be the case, as luxury brands like Louis Vuitton have also been offering NFT collectibles as part of their product strategy. Vogue Business recently reported that a leather varsity jacket that appeared on the Autumn/Winter 2024 men’s runway in January became available to 200 holders of Louis Vuitton’s Via NFTs.

According to Vogue Business, Louis Vuitton’s NFT offering is tapping into an existing, high-net worth audience that may be intrigued by additional perks accessible through Web3 technology.

NFTs Help Retailers Understand Consumers


DiGregorio further believes that retailers offering NFTs will help them better understand their consumers.

“When you have NFT wallets and users that have signed up for wallets where they’ve collected certain things with traits, you can get to know that consumer and how to engage with them in the future,” she said.

OpenSea 2.0 Coming Soon


Given the innovation within the NFT sector, DiGregorio mentioned that OpenSea 2.0 will likely launch in the next few months.

“We’ve really been heads down on building OpenSea 2.0,” she said. “We are right now engaged in this trajectory to rebuild the actual architecture of OpenSea to make it easier to integrate new chains and to deploy new features.”

DiGregorio shared that OpenSea now supports NFTs on the Sei network, along with assets on the BLAST blockchain.

“We would like to accelerate how quickly and easily we can deploy new features for users, creators and even for Web2 companies deploying on the platform. OpenSea 2.0 is something we are very excited about and it is coming in just a few months,” said Digregorio.