retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports that is testing a new approach that it hopes will expand its big city penetration - allowing people to buy products online and then pick them up free-of-charge at urban FedEx locations.

According to the story, “The tests, which started this summer in Los Angeles and Boston, allow customers to direct purchases made on to FedEx Office outlets at no cost, mimicking a Wal-Mart offering called Site to Store that lets online buyers send items to the retailer's stores free. Wal-Mart has no stores in Boston and only two in Los Angeles, but FedEx has many locations in both ... the company is still collecting feedback from the tests, which began in L.A. in June and Boston last month, and had no immediate plans to broaden the program.”
KC's View:
This is very, very smart. It also illuminates an approach that could be taken by other retailers looking to create effective coalitions. What if Amazon teamed up with 7-Eleven for a similar program, for example?

Creative solutions like these could have enormous implications for all sorts of companies, making them increasingly relevant in a fragmented marketplace.