We have already talked about pop-up stores a while ago, but a recent news about Walmart opening pop-up stores hit our attention not because of their being “pop-up”, but because the American giant decided to create small pop-up stores to face the upcoming holiday demand, driving it from a physical location (the pop-up store) to Walmart.com. While Walmart customers will be able to purchase high margin gift solutions directly from the store, they can also pick up items ordered from the retail giant’s website and pick them up in the store with no delivery charge under the Site-to-Store and Pick-Up Today programs.
The stores, located in Souther California, which bear signs reading Walmart.com, opened November 2 and are expected to remain open through December 31. Unlike its recently launched Walmart Express or its Neighborhood Market small-format stores, this new concept does not feature food or other convenience products.
“This is just a small test we’re conducting during the holiday season to offer local customers easier, more convenient access to quality products at everyday low prices,” Wal-Mart spokesperson Lorenzo Lopez toldCSP Daily News. “These small stores, located in the Topanga Mall in West Los Angeles and Horton Plaza in San Diego, will offer customers access to more than one million general merchandise items currently available through Walmart.com.”
He added, “The store will display key holiday items such as toys, electronics, gaming and home theater. These items can be picked up at the Walmart.com store or nearest Walmart store via the Site to Store and Pick Up Today options. Products can also be delivered to customers’ homes via the standard shipping options currently available through Walmart.com. Customers will also have an opportunity to purchase a small selection of items at the store, mostly accessories.”
Lopez said, “We’re always looking for ways to better serve our customers, so it’s not uncommon for us to test different formats to learn how customers respond to products and services. These stores are just another way to give customers a continuous experience by bringing together our stores, our brand and our footprint through eCommerce.”
A growing number of shoppers are in fact using technology to research and purchase gifts. These test stores are an interesting way to let shoppers research and buy online with the option to “get it now.” The highly targeted assortment and short-term leases are a low-risk way for Walmart to reach new shoppers and capture shopping occasions it may not otherwise have access to. Maybe most importantly, the pop-up stores could drive shoppers that don’t currently shop at Walmart (or Walmart.com) to the retailer’s website.