- Stepping into a type of retail that it once disrupted, Walmart and remote vacation company Getaway are launching mini-retail shops called the General Store by Walmart at select outpost locations, according to a press release from Walmart last week.
- The first store will open in August at a Getaway outpost in Wimberley, Texas, per the release. Other shops will open throughout the year in Moodus, Connecticut; Running Springs, California; Roscoe, New York; and Osceola, Missouri.
- The small shops will sell seasonal products sourced by Walmart and curated by Getaway, such as hiking gear and leisure activities, as well as equipment such as film cameras, cast iron skillets and more. The selection will also be available online at a Getaway shopping page, and guests over the next six months will receive Welcome Kits from the partnership to make s’mores.
There’s nothing like your local general store's quaint, wholesome energy, and Walmart is looking to embody that with this new partnership.
“Walmart’s partnership with Getaway furthers our mission to help people live better no matter where they are,” Casey Schlaybaugh, Walmart's U.S. vice president of brand marketing, said in a statement. “We are going beyond just saving people money by enabling guests to maximize Getaway’s experience and empowering them to spend more quality time with those who matter most.”
The news demonstrates that Walmart is looking to expand its reach to more remote places, far from where its typical big-box stores can be found. The company is also offering extra benefits to extend the relationship it starts with Getaway Outpost guests, giving a complimentary Walmart+ trial to any guests over the next year.
Getaway is focused on providing nature-filled experiences to travelers interested in taking a break from regular life. Each location is within a two-hour drive from a major city, and they do not offer WiFi or cell service.
The news received a less-than-enthusiastic response when announced on Getaway’s Instagram last week. In a post where Getaway said it wants to “inspire people to live better” through working with Walmart, some commented that the news made them “really sad” and many wondered why they wouldn’t partner with a small business.
Walmart’s partnership with Getaway follows its warning last week that profits are at risk as consumers focus spending on essentials instead of discretionary items. The retailer expects operating income to fall 13% to 14% for the second quarter, but raised that quarter's net sales estimate to 7.5% growth from its 5% estimate in May.