Joliet, IL — The first-ever MyGofer store has opened, replacing a local Kmart and starting what Sears Holding Corp. hopes to be a new type of shopping experience for its customers.
MyGofer provides a store with a range of products that include what Kmart has to offer. But customers order items by computer, phone or at the site, rather than shopping through aisles. Merchandise is picked up at the Joliet store, which also has a drive-through lane.
The store, located in the Louis Joliet Pointe shopping center just outside of the Westfield Louis Joliet mall, opened without fanfare Friday.
“We are still working out the kinks,” Store Manager Neal Siegler said. But the weekend opening did attract interest from shoppers already at Louis Joliet Pointe. “We’ve had quite a few people stop in,” Siegler said. “The shopping center here is a pretty busy shopping center.“
Sears Holdings hopes to combine the best conveniences of Internet shopping and storefront retailing. This is to make the MyGofer concept work in Joliet.
MyGofer has already been implemented for Internet shopping. But Siegler said the Joliet store is the first place to put MyGofer into an actual store that shoppers can visit.
“You can go on our Web site and place an order, or come into the store and we’ll set you up with an Internet kiosk, or you can place an order by phone,” he said.
Retail consultant, Mara Devitt, does not think highly of the idea. She believes that shoppers can already order essentially the same products at Sears.com by sharing that, “The idea is valid, and that is why they are testing it. But, getting people to change their behavior is very tough.”
MyGofer replaces a Kmart store that was located at the same 2700 Plainfield Road address. The Kmart store closed after Christmas. Sears is in the process of closing another local Kmart in Lockport.