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The MRL Morning Show

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It looks like a normal Walmart with everyday items inside, however, customers aren’t allowed inside. 

Traditional brick-and-mortar stores alone are not enough to stay ahead in the digital era. America’s shoppers want convenient, hassle-free experiences.

So Walmart and Nordstrom are building physical stores that don’t actually sell anything. The two retailers are creating small hubs in big cities and dense suburban areas for shoppers to retrieve their online grocery and clothing orders. These new locations give them access to shoppers who want their stuff in a hurry without going to regular big-box stores or waiting around for home delivery.

Earlier this month, Walmart opened Walmart Pickup Point, a 40,000 square-foot prototype store outside of Chicago in Lincolnwood, Illinois, to cater to customers’ online pickups and deliveries. Customers drive up to the site to designated parking spots, and a Walmart worker will load up their trunk with their order.

The inside of the Lincolnwood locations looks like a Walmart with groceries and everyday items such as diapers, household cleaners, and pet supplies. Unlike a traditional Walmart supercenter, however, customers won’t be able to go inside. It is also testing a similar model near its Arkansas headquarters.

The new location “gives busy customers the ability to shop how, when and where they want,” store manager Nicole Olson said in a release.

The new Walmart locations share similarities with Nordstrom Local, a concept Nordstrom first introduced in Los Angeles in 2017.

Nordstrom Local hubs are smaller than its traditional department stores. They give customers a place to make pickups and returns and take advantage of Nordstrom’s alteration and tailoring services. Nordstrom has three Local stores in Los Angeles and is slated to open its first two in New York City in September.

Walmart and Nordstrom’s innovations are the latest examples of how retailers are attempting to create distinctive services to fight off Amazon.

I personally am really excited about this. I’m very hesitant about buying clothes online because I don’t want the hassle of the return. If we can buy things online yet have the convenience of same-day returns, then I will forever be a fan of this new innovation.

You can read more about the new Walmart Pickup here.