Drive-Thru Kmart? Drive-Thru Wal-Mart?

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Shoppers love eBay and Amazon because they can buy stuff without ever leaving the house. To compete with the e-commerce giants, brick-and-mortar retail giants like Kmart and Wal-Mart are testing the idea of the drive-thru discount store, where shoppers never have to leave their cars.

Experimental new drive-thru shopping models have been open for business for months in the Chicago area, and quite possibly will be coming to your neck of the woods soon, as the Chicago Tribune reports:

During the past year, the Chicago area has turned into a retail test ground for mass merchants to experiment with drive-throughs. Sears Holdings Corp. started last spring by turning a Kmart store in Joliet into a drive-through warehouse, renaming the outpost MyGofer. Meijer Inc. followed suit with GroceryExpress drive-ups at stores in St. Charles and Aurora. And Wal-Mart Stores Inc. opened its first drive-through at a recently remodeled store in Mount Prospect.

While the concept is fledgling and there are kinks to work out, retail analysts predict that mass merchant drive-throughs will be moving into the mainstream as baby boomers age and the Internet changes the way people shop.

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