RetailWire: Sears to Test New Online/Drive-Through Concept

It’s becoming increasingly common today for retailers to offer store pick-up as an option for consumers ordering product online. Sears Holdings is looking to take the convenience factor associated with online ordering and store pick-up one step further with a new warehouse store concept called MyGofer that gives consumers the option of taking delivery of their order at a drive-through.

The first MyGofer is slated to open this summer in Joliet, Ill., according to a Chicago Tribune report. Some see the move by Sears as a means to cut operating expenses while others view it as a step by the company to reconnect with its heritage as general catalog merchant.

The 85,000-square-foot MyGofer will have about 80 percent of its space devoted to storing product. The other 20 percent will consist of a showroom.

“It’s a big, big opportunity to restructure the company,” Love Goel, chief executive officer of Growth Ventures Group, told the Trib. “You can get a lot more inventory in the store, and it’s much cheaper to operate because you don’t need as much lighting and staff. It’s a much more productive use of real estate.”

Joliet officials indicated that Sears expects the MyGofer store to cost up to $5 million to build and that it will generate greater sales volume than the Kmart it will replace.


The article on the MyGofer concept generated a flood of feedback and buzz from the RetailWire BrainTrust discussion board. Liz Crawford, President of Crawford Consulting, gave the concept a thumbs up vote of approval. “The convenience, speed, and increased assortment (versus on-shelf limitations) make this right on time. With more shoppers turning to the internet for purchases of every category, I bet we’ll see more of this,” Crawford commented. “Sure, site-to-store isn’t news…However, dedicating a store to this mode of shopping is a step forward.”

Kevin Graff, President of Graff Retail, suggested the jury will be out on the new concept until the concept proves manageable. “This will all come down to their ability to execute on the speed and convenience promise. Time starved consumers who get sold on the notion of saving time will expect to spend next to no time waiting for their items they’ve come to pick up. I can’t see that happening consistently, unless some great tech solution is at hand.”

Editor’s Note: This article is an excerpt from one of RetailWire’s recent online discussions. Each business morning on, retail industry execs get plugged in to the latest news and issues with key insights from a “BrainTrust” of retail industry experts.

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