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Chicagoland Turning Into A Drive-Through Test Bed

The Chicago area is turning into a test ground for drive-through shopping, Sandra M. Jones reports. Analysts predict that the concept will be moving into the mainstream as baby boomers age and the Internet changes the way people shop.

Kmart turned a store in Joliet into a drive-through warehouse that it renamed MyGofer. Meijer has installed GroceryExpress drive-up windows at stores in St. Charles and Aurora. In Mount Prospect, a recently remodeled Walmart also has a drive-through.

Shoppers are comparing prices on the Internet and shopping 24 hours a day, says Rob Fleener, vp of business development at Meijer, and brick-and-mortar stores need to finds ways to compete against virtual merchants such as Amazon and eBay. A report from E-tailing Group last September found that 32% of shoppers ranked in-store pickups as valuable, up from 22% in 2008.

Read the whole story at Chicago Tribune »

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