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Just What We Need: Walmart Opens Pop-Up Mini Stores in SoCal

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Not close enough to a big ol' Walmart superstore? If you're in the San Fernando Valley, you can pop in to a Walmart mini "pop-up" shop in place for the holiday season in Canoga Park. A second SoCal pop-up Walmart is located in downtown San Diego. The hitch: Most of the merchandise there isn't for sale.The idea, explains the L.A. Times, is that the storefront can expose shoppers to Walmart products that they can order right then and there from via laptops and tablet computers provided by the store. Yep, that's right: It's a brick-and-mortar online retailer.

The stores are tiny--the one at the Westfield Topanga mall is a mere 1,000 square feet--and "mostly enable consumers to try out products before ordering them." A company rep says the stores have popped up as another one of the company's ways to experiment with new ways of doing business. The stores are designed with an aesthetic similar to the stark look of the popular Apple stores.

The shops will close at the end of December.

Of course, in this current era of "occupy" and economic hardship, while you might want to make your shopping choices as governed by pure affordability, you may want to opt to go the other route and skip the chain stores in favor of supporting mom and pop stores. A day devoted to just that, Small Business Saturday, is taking place for the second year this Thanksgiving weekend, on November 26. And while Walmart may be onto the indie curve with their pop-up concept, there are tons of pop-up shops and events to check out locally between now and the December holidays for some of your shopping needs.