Retailers Trying New Ways To Lure Shoppers Into Stores & Away From Online Shopping

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Big box retail stores are beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

But with shopping gearing up, one thing is missing — lots of customers.

With a majority of holiday shoppers — some 59 percent — saying they’re going to shop online for Christmas, stores like Walmart are looking for creative ways to get you into the store.

So how about this idea?

Actually throw a party, and let you test some of the products for sale.

“We’re asking folks to come in and kind of see what’s going on this holiday season,” Shawn McPherson, the manager of the Walmart Supercenter in Robinson, told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Thursday.

This Saturday, Nov. 4, and then two Saturdays in December, Walmart will host 20,000 parties at its supercenters nationwide that add up to 165,000 product demonstrations.

“We’re excited to have the customers shop here at the store and online, but we love to see our customers daily shopping in the stores,” adds John Stockett, co-manager of the Walmart.

This Saturday it’s all about toys, says Stockett.

“Minnie’s Walk & Play Puppy — it is a great item for boys and girls,” says Stockett. “Here’s another great item. This is the Mickey Road Racer.”

On Saturday afternoon, these are among a number of toys that will be unboxed so that kids can try them out, and then write down what they like for Santa.

And speaking of Santa, we found him roaming the aisles.

Santa says he hopes kids and parents will take free selfies with him at the store.

“Everybody would like to see Santa, and I’m here at Walmart every Saturday,” says Santa.

Of course, Santa shows up at many other stores.

Some, like Target, will offer free holiday treats, interactive demonstrations, and many retailers are upping their in-store selections.

“Housewares, toys, all kinds of food items that we’re going after this year that we just haven’t carried in the past,” notes Walmart’s McPherson. “It’s going to be huge.”

Maybe huge enough to get you to come in.

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