Walmart is going smaller with its stores, but a new test, if successful, could push the retailer to even tighter confines. According to several reports, Walmart.com has opened a couple of pilot locations that showcase key items throughout, such as toys and consumer electronics, but direct people to the internet to actually make their purchases.
According to MarketWatch, the two test locations in California are 1,000 and 3,000 square-feet respectively. They are located in downtown malls in Los Angeles and San Diego where the company has no presence currently.
"I think they have access to consumers that they don't normally get," George Whalin, president and chief executive of Retail Management Consultants and a RetailWire BrainTrust member, told NBC San Diego. "It is a very valid idea and I think during the holiday season they will do well."
Ted Hurlbut, principal at Hurlbut & Associates, also a member of the RetailWire BrainTrust, told MarketWatch, "Wal-Mart is trying to understand more fully how it can integrate brick-and-mortar and online operations. But my sense is Wal-Mart customers are latecomers to online because of their income level and will stick to stores."
Walmart has not announced any plans to extend the concept past the Christmas selling season and is waiting to see results before making that decision.
How likely do you think it is that Walmart will expand the number of Walmart.com locations it opens?