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Sears and Kmart roll out virtual shopping walls for toys

The shopping walls feature pictures of toys for sale along with bar codes attached to each item. Shoppers can buy a toy by scanning the bar code with their smartphones.

November 08, 2011|By Shan Li, Los Angeles Times

This holiday season, Sears and Kmart are testing virtual shopping walls at malls to empower smartphone owners to buy toys on the go.

The walls, which feature pictures of toys for sale from Sears and Kmart along with bar codes attached to each item, will be placed temporarily at select malls, bus shelters, subway stations, airports and movie theaters around the country. While waiting for a bus or browsing the mall this season, shoppers can scan a code with their smartphones to buy a particular toy right on their device.

"Our goal is to make holiday shopping so simple that customers can find the perfect gift while they are traveling or going about their daily lives," said Julia Fitzgerald, chief digital engagement officer of toys and sporting goods for Sears Holdings Corp., the operator of Sears and Kmart stores.

The walls will be available at several movie theaters in the Los Angeles area, including the Regal Long Beach 26, AMC Burbank 16 and the Regal Irvine Spectrum 20.

Virtual shopping walls have already been tested overseas. British grocery giant Tesco has rolled out similar walls stocked with photos of more than 500 popular items at a busy subway station in Seoul. Korean shoppers can also use their smartphones to scan and order groceries and other products that will be delivered later to their homes.

shan.li@latimes.com

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