There are plenty of good reasons to run down to your local Walmart. They have pretty much everything you need, but they don’t have cars. That’s a problem the company aims to fix with a recent partnership with CarSaver.
It’s a little hard to imagine the friendly greeter that guides a shopping cart in your direction as you enter and hands out little yellow smiley face stickers selling cars. In fact, it’s ridiculous, so that’s not at all what Walmart plans.
Instead they’re setting up kiosks with CarSaver employees inside select Walmart stores. The program is set to roll out on April 1 in Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, and Oklahoma City at roughly 25 Walmart locations. Customers will be able to shop for a car online with CarSaver, finance their purchase, and even insure it or they can head into their local Walmart and do the same thing through a touchscreen kiosk.
The setup in the store will be similar to what is already seen in some Walmart locations that have nail salons, vision centers, and other services located up front across from the registers. The CarSaver’s employees at the kiosks will help answer questions and guide shoppers through their purchase.
Once they find the car they need, it’s not going to be sitting out back near the gardening supplies. Instead, the customer will be sent to a certified local dealer who will help them with their purchase. If the sale is made, then the dealership pays CarSaver $350, dependent on state laws. If there’s no sale, then CarSaver makes nothing.
To make things even more convenient, the dealers are within 15 miles of the Walmart Supercenter so it will be easy to pick up a gallon of milk, some diapers, perhaps a rifle and some ammo, and then head on over to the dealership to finish up your new car purchase. It might sound like an odd program, but it did well in testing.
In April of last year, a pilot program was conducted in Stuart, Florida. A whopping 80 percent of scheduled appointments ended up with a sale and customers saved an average of $3,000 off the sticker price. It’s also not a new idea, with Costco’s successful program averaging around 1,000 new vehicles per Costco each year. Walmart is aiming for the same goal with an even split between new and used vehicles.
If the program is a success, expect to see CarSaver kiosks in Walmart Supercenters across the country with the next two years.