Mygofer and Kmart, a new kind of retailer?

Sears Holdings has been testing something called mygofer for nearly a year now that combines online shopping with the ability to pick up an order in person. Mygofer is carrying most items found in a standard discount store, including some perishables, but there's no need to even get out of the car. The entire order is brought out and loaded for you.

I had a brief love affair with online grocery service when it first appeared more than a decade ago. But the novelty wore off and I returned to browsing the actual store and never looked back. I also bought my first car so the convenience factor diminished significantly, but I don't enjoy navigating the parking lot, or the store for that matter. So it's with great interest that I'm watching this new retail concept unfold.

Mygofer is currently just a single location in a converted Kmart store in Joliet, Ill. There's a small lobby area from which you can place orders at a terminal, but it's basically a warehouse space filled with inventory.

Mygofer is still considered a beta project, or test. But it has recently been expanded to select Kmart stores. A recent visit to let me know that an order could be picked up at the nearest Kmart store just two hours later. Spokeswoman Brenda Storch explains that mygofer@kmart is expanding the pick up service to approximately 150 Kmart stores. Just enter your zip code at mygofer to find the nearest location to your home, or it can be shipped to you.

Even fancier is mygofer Plus, a service Storch says in available at even fewer Kmart stores and select workplaces. Order online and have it dropped off at your desk. I don't know how much you have to hate shopping to utilize something like mygofer, but it does seem to be a time saver. You only need to plan two hours ahead to save however much time you'd wander the store. And, someone helps load the car.

Customers can email to find out if there is a participating Kmart near them, says Storch.
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