Professional bull riders will soon greet fans at 40 Walmart stores, part of an aggressive corporate plan to combat the rise of Amazon with in-store entertainment.
The world’s largest retailer still generates more than twice Amazon’s share of American retail sales. However, as e-commerce casts an increasing shadow over brick-and-mortar, the superstore is using “retail-tainment” to encourage customers to shop in its physical stores.
“As the world is becoming more digital, a lot of our customers are craving for a more physical, real experience, and a live retail experience,” new Walmart Chief Marketing Officer Tony Rogers told supplier executives.
Walmart is already adept at bringing together its online business and physical store footprint, and its omnichannel strategies earn the brand the second spot in L2’s most recent Digital IQ Index: Big Box. The brand is also strong on social platforms, accounting for all 10 most-watched YouTube videos in the study – suggesting that the company will be successful in spreading the word about retail-tainment events. But while the bulls might draw customers into stores, the promotional stunt may not be enough to defend against the convenience of e-commerce in the long term.