MyGofer Store Closes Without Notice
The Joliet business, owned by the Sears Holding Corp. and the only one in the country, aimed to marry online shopping with drive-through convenience.
It opened with little fanfare less than three years ago, and closed the same way Thursday night.
Joliet's MyGofer store at 2700 Plainfield Road, which allowed consumers to shop online or via in-house kiosks and then pick up their purchases at a drive-through window, officially shut its doors at 8 p.m. Thursday.
The concept was to provide a one-stop shop for items sold by the Sears Holding Corp. -- namely Sears and Kmart -- that offered the convenience of online shopping but eliminated the need to wait for items to arrive by mail. In addition to appliances, tools, clothing and other items you might find at a Sears or Kmart store, you could also purchase groceries and sundries.
Joliet's was the only MyGofer store in the country, operating out a closed Kmart store in the same strip mall as Bed, Bath & Beyond, Michael's and other national chains. It opened in May 2009, and relied upon "word of mouth" to educate consumers about how it worked, according to articles published when it opened.
The idea was its proximity to the Louis Joliet Mall and other large-draw stores would make it convenient, and if you didn't want to -- or didn't have time to -- shop online, you could also drop by and place your order via in-store computers.
The store had its critics right from the get-go, with TheStreet.com declaring it "a bad cross between Amazon.com and Dairy Barn" and naming its weekly "Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street" list in when the store opened. Others deemed it a concept that had been tried with Service Merchandise stores many years earlier and failed.
But even as recently as Jan. 31, the store was still hiring new employees and just a week ago was trying to lure in new consumers by offering a free gallon of milk to anyone who came in and mentioned seeing an ad on one of the city's electronic billboards.
The mygofer.com Web site continues, but is limited to items sold at Kmart stores, which can be picked up in store or at curbside.