This week’s blog is a study in contrasts: We’ve got an update on retail behemoth Walmart Inc.’s expansion of online pickup sites at local stores—and news of a new independent retailer coming to Broad Ripple.
Walmart, which had offered online grocery pickup at 11 Indianapolis-area stores, has launched the service at four more local stores.
Effective Thursday, Walmart customers who place online orders can pick up those orders at two additional Indianapolis locations: 10735 Pendleton Pike and 7325 N. Keystone Ave. Pickups are also now available at Walmart’s 2001 E. 151st St. store in Carmel; and at its 882 S. State Road 135 store in Greenwood.
The discount retailer launched online pickup in the Indianapolis market in August 2016. With the four new sites, Walmart now offers online pickup at 15 local sites: four Indianapolis stores, two in Plainfield and one each in Avon, Brownsburg, Camby, Carmel, Fishers, Franklin, Greenfield, Greenwood and Shelbyville.
Walmart says it plans to add online grocery pickup at 1,000 sites this year, including additional stores around Indiana whose locations have not yet been announced.
In another initiative, Walmart is expanding its grocery delivery service in which Walmart employees and “crowd-sourced delivery services” deliver online orders to customers’ homes. That service is in six markets and Walmart plans to expand it to more than 100 markets this year. No word on whether Indianapolis is among that group.
The efforts are part of Walmart’s larger push to increase its e-commerce presence in response to the changing retail landscape.
Online sales represent a small but growing percentage of Walmart’s overall sales. For the year ended Jan. 31, the retailer reported total revenue of $500 billion, with comparable-store sales up 2.1 percent. E-commerce sales for the year totaled $11.5 billion, up 44 percent from the previous year.
Walmart says it expects e-commerce sales to grow by about 40 percent this year.
Walmart counts sales as e-commerce if the customer makes the purchase online, regardless of whether the order is then delivered to the customer’s home or picked up at a store.
The Broad Ripple space that formerly housed Fira Boutique, 918 Broad Ripple Ave., won’t be vacant for long.
A menswear shop, Anthony Leigh, is planned for that spot with a grand opening set for May 4.
Brian Kelly, one of three co-owners, describes Anthony Leigh as a boutique for men ages 25-45, with an emphasis on affordable items from smaller brands that aren’t commonly found at brick-and-mortar stores. Merchandise will include jeans, T-shirts, button-down shirts, polos and other menswear.
Leigh’s partners in Anthony Leigh are Ryan Lynch and Coltyn Miller.
He said the three had been planning to open a menswear store and had looked at a couple of spots on Mass Ave, but nothing panned out.
Kelly is also a co-owner of The Shop, a T-shirt shop with locations in Broad Ripple and at Clay Terrace in Carmel.
The Broad Ripple T-shirt shop is right next door to the former Fira’s. So when Fira’s closed its doors Feb. 27, Kelly and his partners saw an opportunity.
The women’s boutique was open for less than two years. Kelly said the space requires minimal interior work to turn it into a men’s store.
“We had to take a couple of things down and make it a little more manly,” Kelly said.