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The Chicago Tribune looks at a confluence of service expansion in the city, writing that “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.”
KC's View:
One of the challenges in developing drive-through services is knowing what products to offer and what kind of availability and accessibility to offer shoppers.

But the simple truth is that these days, it is critical to offer not just a great in-store shopping experience (as opposed to the mediocre environments featured by too many retailers), but also online shopping and some sort of drive-through and pick-up features. Maybe not everywhere, but everywhere that it seems appropriate. The bar is going to be raised in terms of what shoppers want and expect, and it strikes me as important for retailers to be pushing the envelope, testing concepts like these, and figuring which ones have resonance.