Jul 28, 2022 - Economy

Walmart launching "mini-retail experience" for travel

Window with a diamond on it, which says the General Store by Walmart.”

The General Store by Walmart is opening in select Getaway Outposts. Photo courtesy of Walmart

Walmart is embarking on a "mini-retail" journey with health and wellness hospitality company Getaway to add small general stores at select travel outposts across the country.

Why it matters: People are transitioning from spending on stuff to spending on experiences after two years of being cooped up amid the pandemic, Nathan Bomey reports for Axios Closer.

Driving the news: The world's largest retailer said Thursday that it will open the first "General Store by Walmart" in August at Getaway Hill Country in Wimberley, Texas, located near Austin and San Antonio.

  • Getaway, a network of modern cabin retreats, said in a news release that it has averaged “above 84% occupancy over the year across Outposts" and recently announced nine new Outposts will open because of continued demand.
  • The companies say the partnership's goal is to help consumers "live better by aiming to make traveling to nature even easier and convenient."

Zoom out: Walmart said Monday that it expects its profits from the second quarter to come in below previous estimates, saying the effects of inflation are having a ripple effect on customers, Axios’ Hope King reports.

  • Walmart expects a decline of 11% to 13% for the full year, down from a previously expected 1% drop.

General Store by Walmart coming to Getaway

Meanwhile, after the Texas store opens, there are plans to open four more General Store locations through the end of the year.

  • The planned locations include: Getaway Machimoodus in Moodus, Connecticut; Getaway Big Bear in Running Springs, California; Getaway Western Catskills in Roscoe, New York; and Getaway Ozark Highlands in Osceola, Missouri.
  • Getaway said it offers "disconnected stays in nature located less than a two-hour drive from major cities across the country" and will have 28 Outposts by the end of 2022.

Context: Walmart told Axios the small stores are approximately 75 square feet and the retailer’s "first micro-retail shopping experience."

Details: The General Store by Walmart will include seasonal products, sourced from the retailer featuring products from local small businesses and curated by Getaway outdoor experts.

  • Available items included everyday items as well as hiking gear, leisure activities and campfire equipment, according to a news release.
  • Items on sale at The General Store by Walmart will also be available through a Getaway shopping page on Walmart's website.

What they're saying: Carlos Becil, Getaway’s chief experience officer, said the company's mission is to help people disconnect and spend time in nature.

  • "In partnering with Walmart, we are able to amplify our efforts to a larger audience and provide our guests with more free time, helping them prepare for their stays and enjoy the comforts of nature once they arrive,' Becil said in a statement.
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