Walmart debuts virtual summer camp and drive-in movie programs
Walmart announced plans to turn some of its parking lots into drive-in movie theaters and host its first Camp by Walmart, featuring celebrities who would take kids through a virtual camp experience.
“Summer hasn’t really felt like summer yet and I know I hear every day, ‘Mom, I’m bored!’,” said Janey Whiteside, chief customer officer, Walmart, in a statement. “Through our digital means and vast footprint of stores, we’re hoping to bring some summer fun to families across the country. We know Walmart plays a role in our communities that extends far beyond getting them necessary supplies, and we see that now more than ever.”
Beginning in August, Walmart will transform 160 of its parking lots into drive-in theaters in a partnership with Tribeca Enterprises. A combined 320 showings will be presented through October, including hit movies and special appearances from filmmakers and celebrities. Ahead of each screening, families will be able to order online and have concessions delivered to vehicles.
Walmart also signed on as presenting partner of the Tribeca Drive-In movie series, which began July 2. Tribeca Drive-In movie series costs $26 per vehicle or $35 for a double feature.
Drive-in movie showings have been popping up across the country as the opening of theaters have faced major social distancing and cleansing challenges.
Camp by Walmart is being produced and developed in partnership with CAMP, the Buzzfeed-funded, summer-camp-themed retailer with one store in the Flatiron district.
Starting July 8, families can access 50 activities from arts and crafts to fitness and other activities for free through the Walmart app. The sessions are being led by camp experts and celebrities, including a make-up tutorial led by actress Drew Barrymore, camp challenges led by actor Neil Patrick Harris and mental and physical activities led by basketball star LeBron James with help from his PROMISE School educators.
Restrictions and closures of beaches, amusement parks, summer camps, movie theaters and other leisure adventures have led many families to pursue entertainment options inside homes and to opt for staycations or nearby vacations. The shift has led to a spike in sales of swimming pools, grills, basketball hoops and bikes.
- Walmart Launches Virtual Summer Camp and Drive-In Movie Theater to Help Families Make the Most of Summer – Walmart/Business Wire
- Camp brings a playground to retail – RetailWire
- Walmart Drive-In – Walmart
- Bank of America says these stocks will be supported as people opt for ‘staycations’ during the coronavirus crisis – Business Insider
- Sporting Goods, Home Fitness, and Cycling Sales Surge in the U.S., Reports The NPD Group – The NPD Group/PRWeb
- Swimming pools join the list of hot coronavirus pandemic purchases – MLive
- Bike-buyers beware: The wait will be long – Dayton Daily News
- Outdoor furniture sales grow as customers prepare for a summer at home – CNBC
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What marketing and merchandising opportunities do the entertaining-at-home and staycation trends offer retailers? What do you think of Walmart’s response with its virtual summer camp and drive-in movies?