When Walmart told me they’re planning to launch a new Pro Tools store, I asked a very important questions: Why should I care? What is special about the new Pro Tools store? What will they do to earn my business?
The way they described things to me, the Pro Tools store is about making it easier for me to find the tools I want to buy, at a good price, and with as effortless an experience as possible.
First, they’re bringing in some new brands. Brands like Klein Tools, Skilsaw, Knipex, Porter Cable, and Gearwrench. But they’re also filtering the brands that are featured in the Pro Tools store, meaning you won’t find entry-level homeowner-type products.
Please see the update below for a correction about Bosch 3rd party listings.
I’ve done a lot of online shopping in recent years, and it’s getting increasingly frustrating to find what I’m looking for. If I don’t know exactly what I want, and I start browsing, third party listings, cheap no-name products, and sponsored listings clutter everything up. In the Walmart Pro Tools space, you won’t find anything like that.
This creates a curated store-within-a-store experience.
There are going to be exclusive deals, of course. I posted about one such deal already – a Kreg R3 pocket hole jig bundle. There are others, a few of which I’ll link to below, and this is just the start.
I’m not shy about sharing feedback with Walmart about the Pro Tools section, and you shouldn’t be either. They already knew as much, but exclusive deals and bundles are one sure way to get my attention.
There will also be Pick-up Discounts on certain items.
They gave me example of a popular mobile workshop cart. It’s $200 regularly, but will be $160 if picked up in store. While I tend to prefer home delivery over ship-to-store, that could be a big money-saver on certain items, and a time-saver such as on bigger bulky items (like tool carts) that typically get banged up by shipping companies.
Even on smaller tools, a couple of dollars here and there can convince me to pick up my order at a store, rather than at my door.
While the Walmart Pro Tools experience will be an online-only Walmart.com program, I’m told that in-store returns are quicker and easier than before. That’s something that might appeal to me.
I’d like to see a Pro Tools search filter (I’m told it’s something they’re working on), and a few more brands, especially USA-made brands and lesser-known European brands. I also asked about the potential for a product specialist chat or email option, but that’s probably harder to arrange for.
They do have my attention.
Shopping for new tools was a better experience a couple of years ago than it is today. I do believe that Walmart’s Pro Tools experience team is looking to change that. This is a good start, and from the conversations I had with some of the team members, their hearts and minds are in the right place.
Take a look, and tell them what you see. It might sound a little self-serving, but that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. I want them to build and grow the Walmart.com Pro Tools experience into a new tool destination that gives me reasons to shop there regularly.
A certain retailer – their name rhymes with tears – was one of my go-to tool retailers a few years ago, before they changed everything and lost me as a customer. My current go-to has been disappointing me with changes they’ve been making.
Walmart’s Pro Tools experience has some growing to do, but I think they’re off to a good start. What I am most optimistic about is their attitude. Speaking as an affiliate partner, they showed attentive interest when I told them what ToolGuyd readers would like to see or could benefit from. Another retailer partner recently asked what I needed to help prep for holiday season coverage, but everything I mentioned fell on deaf ears, again.
More Info(Walmart.com Pro Tools)
Here are some other launch deals that caught my attention. (The deals have varying end dates, but they should all be valid until the end of this month, 10/31/2018.)
Klein Tools Wire Stripper and Screwdriver Bundle
I have an older style of these strippers, and love them a lot. Even with Knipex automatic wire strippers in my tool box, I still use these regularly. I remember going back and forth debating about whether to buy them or not. I ended up not buying them, and going with Klein’s more budget-priced wire stripper. Every time I passed the electrical hand tool section, I checked them out again. The dual-dipped cushioned handle won me over.
Price: $20.58 for both, or $19.92 with pick-up discount
Buy Now(via Walmart)
The Klein 11055 wire stripper is $19,54, or $18.91 with pick-up discount.
Kreg Master Jig Bundle
It’s SOLD OUT at the time being, but hopefully they’ll get more in.
This deal featured the Kreg K5 Master pocket hole jig system, with a free 675-count screw assortment.
Gearwrench Ratcheting Screwdriver Set
I bought a Gearwrench ratcheting screwdriver set a few years ago, and although I prefer using some of my other drivers for regular use, I’ll dig my set out every so often. The beauty of this set is that you get 3 ratcheting screwdriver handles – a regular-length handle, a stubby handle, and a T-handle. It also comes with different shafts, including flexible bit holders, and a small assortments of screwdriver bits.
The handle and shaft options allow you to build different ratcheting screwdriver configurations for different needs. It’s a neat system.
Price: $68.48 or $66.29 with pick-up discount.
Buy Now(via Walmart.com)
This Seville Classics mobile workbench with drawer is typically $200, but with pickup discount, you can snag it for $160.
It measures 48″ wide x 24.7″ deep, and is 37.4″ tall. The worktop is 1.5″ thick and bench can support up to 500 lbs. The drawer has ball bearing slides.
Buy Now(via Walmart)
Normally $240, this Seville Classics workbench with pegboard is eligible for a $40 pickup discount, taking the price down to $200.
These kinds of products are pricey for retailers to ship to customers, and can sometimes be damaged by rough handling. They’re great examples of Walmart’s pickup discount in action.
Buy Now(via Walmart)
Update About Bosch 3rd Party Listings
Last week I wrote about the Walmart Pro Tools store launch, an online “store within a store” that aims to provide customers with a curated shopping experiencing.
In that post, I mentioned that Bosch and another brand would be included in the Pro Tools store via two third party sellers.
While there are two third party distributors, they’re specially partnered to bring certain brands to the catalog, such as Bosch and Metabo.
Our contact at Bosch informed me that:
Every Bosch branded power tool, accessory, or measuring device that’s shown on Walmart.com is listed via third party and is not authorized by Bosch.
Presently, Bosch tools are still listed by third party sellers at Walmart.com, but I am told they are not authorized.
Walmart.com commented on the matter:
The Walmart.com tools team respects Bosch’s channel management strategy. The brand’s presence via legacy third party retailers is currently not core to the direct Pro Tools experience, which continues to exceed expectations. We look forward to a continued strong partnership with Bosch’s Dremel brand and other brands and features to come.
We’ll follow up again if need be.