As traditional movie theaters struggle to attract movie-goers during the pandemic, the confined-space nature of their offering has opened up opportunity for other players. Perhaps one in particular that happens to have a huge amount of real estate for parking cars and for allowing customers to sit back and watch a film from the comfort (and relative safety) of their vehicle? Enter: Walmart.
Walmart has had success being more customer focused with their shop online and pick up stations. This new foray into theaters feels like an extension of that customer-centric premise.
Walmart is smart to move fast to assess how the brand can fulfill consumer desires in light of current events with resources they mostly already have on hand. This agility is what will help Walmart capitalize on movie-goers while theater heavy hitters are sitting ducks.
It’s also a lead-gen play. To discover info and movie times, you need to sign up for their newsletter.
From The Verge:
Walmart is converting some of its parking lots into drive-in theaters for the summer as the movie industry struggles amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The retail behemoth is converting 160 of its parking lots across the US into drive-ins. These theaters will open in early August and remain open through October. The Walmart Drive-In will feature movies programmed by Tribeca Enterprises, the company behind the Tribeca Film Festival, which recently launched a summer movie drive-in series bringing films, music, and sporting events to as many US drive-ins as possible.
Walmart has not disclosed whether attendees will have to pay a price of admission. Though, ahead of each drive-in screening, Walmart says it will sell concessions for moviegoers, which they can order online for curbside pick-up ahead of the film screening. Theaters tend to make a good chunk of their profits on concessions, so Walmart could follow in the industry’s lead.
Why it’s hot:
1. This is a great example of using surplus resources to fill a market gap. The heavy investment stuff is already in place. Walmart needs to invest in some screens, staff, etc, but that overhead is minimal.
2. Though it’s only temporary, the experience created should endear people to the brand, as well as boost revenues from concessions sales.
Source: The Verge