Black Friday 2011: Walmart Tries Mini Stores for Holiday Season

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By Brent Woodie, Christian Post Contributor
November 15, 2011|10:23 am

Walmart is pulling out all the stops for the Holiday season by promoting its blockbuster deals with online specials, price matching guarantee and a reintroduction of its layaway program.

To further capitalize on the shopping frenzy, Walmart is going small. The No. 1 retailer is testing mini stores to improve its customer reach and steer shoppers towards online shopping for the busiest shopping day of the year.

“The so-called pop-up stores feature a curated assortment of toys and electronics, many of which are for display only. Shoppers can browse the items, then order them directly from Wal-Mart's website on laptops and tablet computers provided on tables at each store,” said the Los Angeles Times.

The "mini store" idea is similar to Walmart’s recent strategy to open miniature stores that offer low priced groceries and core items to attract customers who traditionally shop at big grocery chains.

"The goal was to give our local customers easier access to the range of products on Walmart.com," said Walmart spokesperson Lorenzo Lopez to the Los Angles Times. "It's not uncommon for us to test different formats and different offerings in different markets just to learn how customers respond."

Walmart’s mini store idea can gain shoppers who are browsing the malls or who do not have time to visit the retail giant.

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Although the concept may sound great for some, others are not so excited about Walmart covering more ground.

“Of course, in this current era of ‘occupy’ and economic hardship, while you might want to make your shopping choices as governed by pure affordability, you may want to opt to go the other route and skip the chain stores in favor of supporting mom and pop stores,” said Laist.com.

"I thought it was ridiculous," said a 21-year-old college student to the Los Angeles Times. "They have huge Wal-Mart stores everywhere, and now they're in malls too. That's just too much."

The mini Walmart stores are only located in Southern California and will be closed by the end of December.

 

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