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Brief Published: 16 Nov 2011

Walmart’s Try Before You Buy, SoCal Mini Stores


US retail giant Walmart has opened two mini pop-up stores in Southern California, allowing Christmas shoppers to test a number of products before buying them online at Walmart.com.

Integrating its online and offline offer, with the overall goal of steering shoppers towards the retailer’s e-commerce site, the stores offer an edited selection of items, including toys and electronics. The vast majority are for display only.

In-store laptops and tablets enable consumers to buy products directly from the website, which can then be either collected from a local store or received via home delivery.

The new retail concept is designed to test how well the public responds to new product ranges, and could well change the way in which Walmart’s local store format is arranged in future – especially if more of its proposition moves online. (See our report Nomadic Retailing for how pop-ups can help brands explore new markets and concepts.)

Although some smaller products, such as headphones and 3D glasses are available to buy in-store, the main aim is to encourage customers to purchase items they might feel uncomfortable buying without seeing first.