Could Kmarts Become Drive-Thru Warehouses?

Sears Holdings Chairman Edward Lampert revealed a plan at the company’s annual meeting that would convert Kmart stores into warehouses where consumers would order products online and then pick them up at the facility. Called MyGofer, the first pilot store has opened in Joliet, IL, where shoppers can even get their items at a drive-thru.

Lampert didn’t give a timeline for rolling out more MyGofer’s across the portfolio. “But if it works, it could give Lampert a way to convert a lot of high-cost stores into low-cost warehouses that still generate a good deal of revenue,” a Chicago Tribune article says.

MyGofer already has a beta website, and it looks like you could buy pretty much anything there. It seems to us like it’s a huge of concept where you would physically pick up items instead of having them shipped, though shipping is an option as well.

So is this a revolutionary new idea? Or will an online and brick and mortar combo not fly with consumers?


17 Responses to “Could Kmarts Become Drive-Thru Warehouses?”

  1. 1 Jim C May 7, 2009 at 7:19 am

    Isn’t that Consumer Distributors from the 1980’s? Don’t you think free shipping neuters that Idea! Gotta give em’ credit, Sears knows how to throw money at things…..

  2. 2 Deegs May 7, 2009 at 7:40 am

    Hello – does anyone remember Service Merchandise and its clones? How about the Sears Catalogue store? Good luck Eddie!

  3. 3 Derrich May 7, 2009 at 8:00 am

    Took the words right out of my mouth, Deegs. Should we hope that Food & Grocery selection will help get over that hump?

  4. 4 james May 7, 2009 at 8:30 am

    Sheer desperation. A “man” concept that won’t fly with women shoppers. Give it up Kmart.

  5. 5 JL May 7, 2009 at 8:31 am

    Well, Derrich, I think “hump” is the operative term there for desribing ole eddie…

  6. 6 Broker May 7, 2009 at 8:35 am

    God forbid Eddie should spend a few bucks to clean up his sorry, downtrodden stores. The slow liquidation continues with a new twist.

  7. 7 Bob Greenfest May 7, 2009 at 8:44 am

    I’ve got another great idea. Why don’t they give out stamps that you place in a book and when you accumulate enough stamps you can get a cheap household item for “free”? Oh, that’s right; S&H is out of business too. For additional insight see

  8. 8 James May 7, 2009 at 9:04 am

    This economy will truely separate the winners from the losers. Smart people and good idea will shine. I truely believe this. There’s a great book out called “The Power of Small” by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval and it’s all about the powerful effect of small actions — very inspirational for both buisness and personal. Not that what K-Mart is doing can necessarily be qualified as small — but it’s looking at both big picture and small ones and using innovative thinking and that’s what this book is all about — don’t be discouraged — small actions can have a great deal of power and in fact, moreover, are invaluable.

    • 9 Linda and Robin @The Power of Small May 7, 2009 at 2:32 pm

      James, as the authors of The Power of Small, we couldn’t agree with you more! Whether in business or in personal life, the biggest successes start by thinking small. This means refocusing our attention away from the big picture to concentrate on the tiny pixels. It’s in those small details where we can really find the answers.

  9. 10 AB May 7, 2009 at 9:29 am

    How about they toss in the towel and sell the RE to Target, Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc, etc??? They have terrific real estate and that is where the value lies.

  10. 11 Stuart May 7, 2009 at 10:05 am


  11. 12 ValuationDecline May 7, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    I’m sure Landlords wouldn’t be too thrilled about changing the use from retail to warehouse. The effect to the property value would be negative.

  12. 13 loveandhatela May 7, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    I agree ..I also remember Service Merchandise…we had one here in Montebello,CA (los angeles). the space is now a Marshall’s or Ross. Our Mervyn’s is now a Forever 21 and the Circuit City space is still empty. The Robinson’s MAy became a Macy’s Home.

    Kmart suck and always has since i can remember. My only positive memory growing up was getting ICEE slushies at the snack bar.

    Now with this whole SEARS-KMART joint thing, they have tried to better the Kmart store, better cleaner wider floor plans, even put the best of Sears- Craftsman etc and even some store have washers n dryers for sale.

    Most Sears stores make a larger portion of their sales by selling those appliances- washers,dryers and refrigerators.

  13. 14 Dscott May 7, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    Hehe…I just tried the website and the javascript is all messed up…doesn’t work running MS Internet Explorer. What a mess

  14. 15 Dealmaker May 8, 2009 at 7:35 am

    Alot of good this does the cotenants and shopping center owners….So much for the shopping experience. I can only see the result here being decreased sales for K-Mart and virtually heavily reduced cross trafic for the balance of the center’s tenants.

    Is this the new K-Mart “Shopping Experience” they’re creating?

  15. 16 TRH-Baltimore May 8, 2009 at 7:46 am

    Coming up with a strategy which dumbs down the retail shopping experience won’t pry any money out of my wallet. ESL may be a decent investor, but this concept needs an operator with a state of the art logistics process and initiative. I might believe it can be a success with the discount consumers only when we see the announcements that the executives from Bentonbville, AR are leaving to take jobs with Lampert.

  1. 1 LOLFed » Lampert: Our Business Model is INSAAANE Trackback on May 7, 2009 at 9:13 am

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