Traditional brick-and-mortar stores alone are not enough to be at the forefront of the digital era. America's buyers want practical and trouble-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 tight suburban areas for shoppers to pick up their online grocery stores and clothing orders. These new places give them access to buyers who want their stuff without having to venture out to regular big box stores or wait for home delivery.
Earlier this month, Walmart opened Walmart Pickup Point, a 40,000-square-foot prototype store outside Chicago in Lincolnwood, Illinois, to accommodate customers' online pickup and delivery. Customers drive up to the site to designated parking spaces, and a Walmart worker will upload the trunk with the order.
Inside Lincolnwood locations look like a Walmart with groceries and groceries like diapers, household cleaners and pet supplies. However, unlike a traditional Walmart super center, customers will not be able to enter. It also tests a similar model near the Arkansas headquarters.
The new site "gives busy customers the opportunity 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 201
The Nordstrom Local hub is smaller than the traditional department stores. They provide customers with a place to pick up and return and take advantage of Nordstrom's changing and tailor-made services. Nordstrom has three local stores in Los Angeles and plans to open its first two in New York City in September.
Walmart and Nordstrom's innovations are the latest examples of how retailers are trying to create distinctive services to combat Amazon.  Buy online, pickup in store grows
Retailers have expanded online pickup options in stores in recent years.
Nordstrom offers pickup at all over 100 locations around the world, while Walmart is on track to offer pickup at more than 3,000 of its stores by the end of 2019.
Walmart Pickup Point and Nordstrom Local are one Another way these retailers are trying to leverage the growth of pickup, especially among younger and wealthy customers.  More than 15% of American buyers have already tried to pick up online, and sales will hit $ 35 billion annually by next year, Cowen analysts estimate in a report.
Pickup next to it is a natural evolution of the traditional shopping experience in the store, "Cowen analysts said in the report.
Pickup appeals to buyers who want to grab their things and go without waiting in cash lines or interacting with Sales workers on the floor, analysts say, "Picking up orders from stores can also be faster than home delivery.
For retailers, retrieval is a better financial model for them than delivery because they can avoid paying expensive shipping fees. Many retailers' profit margins have sunk in recent times years due to investments in their e-commerce supply chains.
Creates customer loyalty
Walmart points out that the Lincolnwood hub extends the opportunity to attract customers in an area where it can. It does not fit one of the 178,000 jumbo stores in square meters.
For Nordstrom, customers who visit local stores spend two and a half times more on average t than regular customers, according to the company. Customers also tend to be younger and more frequent Nordstrom buyers than those who do not shop at Local.
"The expansion of our local market strategy in New York City is a cornerstone of how we want to improve the service of our customers," Jamie Nordstrom, store president, said in May.