By David Dorf-Oracle on Jan 20, 2009
A while back I decided to buy an air-hockey table for the kids. After some research, I decided to buy online from Sears, and the pickup process was impressive. When I arrived at the pick-up entrance at the back of the store, there was a kiosk where I could scan the barcode from my online order (printed at home). Then my name appeared on a TV monitor over the warehouse door, along with a timer starting at 5 minutes and counting down. In about 3 minutes the doors burst open and an employee had my box on a dolly, ready to take the hockey table to my car.
Short of mailing it to me, it could only be easier if there was a drive-thru, like my favorite Outer Banks, NC convenience store Brew-Thru. Well, it looks like Sears was thinking the same thing. The Chicago Tribune reports that Sears is converting a K-Mart location in Joliet, Illinois into a new concept called MyGofer.
MyGofer is 80% warehouse, 20% showroom and geared specifically for buy-on-the-web, pick-up-in-the-store orders. This sounds reminiscent of Best Products and Service Merchandise, both of which went bankrupt long before e-commerce went mainstream.
From my perspective, Sears has a pretty good system already so their objective must be solely to reduce operational costs. As a customer, I'd rather they offer free shipping -- there's nothing better than front-door delivery. But I guess there's a segment of the population that wants their stuff right away, and those may like the convenience of drive-thru. Fast food, banking, dry-cleaning, and lawnmowers -- all in one trip.