Wal-Mart has partnered with AutoNation and CarSaver to create an automotive retail platform that will begin selling cars at 25 Wal-Mart locations starting this April. The program will offer consumers a one-stop shop for buying and financing, and will be available at select stores in Houston, Dallas, Phoenix and Oklahoma City. However, not everything will be online — CarSaver employees will be in-store near the cash registers and other Wal-Mart-based services, like vision centers or nail salons. Customers will make their interest known, then CarSaver will connect shoppers with an AutoNation or other dealer within 15 miles of the Wal-Mart store. The dealer will schedule an appointment with the would-be buyer to complete the car purchasing process.
Total Retail’s Take: This doesn’t come as a surprise. Costco has a long-running auto program, Amazon.com recently began selling Fiats in Italy, and Wal-Mart-owned Sam’s Club also sells cars. Wal-Mart is doing everything it can in the tough fight against Amazon.