NEW YORK (AP) - The news that Wal-Mart is getting into the car insurance business begs the question: is there anything that the world's largest retailer doesn't hawk?
NEW YORK (AP) — The news that Wal-Mart is getting into the car insurance business begs the question: is there anything that the world's largest retailer doesn't hawk?
Surprisingly, the answer is plenty.
You can find food, meds and toys for your dog Rover at Wal-Mart, but chances are you didn't buy your pet there. By the same token, you can pick up a wedding veil at Wal-Mart, but not a traditional white wedding gown. And there are plenty of battery-powered cars for kids at Wal-Mart, but no life-size versions for grown-ups.
All that could all change someday.
Wal-Mart says that almost anything is possible as it pushes to cement its reputation as a place where shoppers can stop in for grocery staples like milk and eggs and also cross off a number of other things on their "To-Do" list.
The pressure to become all things to all people is only intensifying as Wal-Mart continues to face competition from online rival Amazon.com, which is expanding into new products and services.
"We are all about one-stop shopping," says Deisha Barnett, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman.
In auto insurance, Wal-Mart hooked up with a new site called AutoInsurance.com that lets shoppers quickly find and buy insurance policies online to cut down costs. That move comes just a few weeks after Wal-Mart launched a money transfer service.
What other services could be on the horizon for the retail behemoth? Brian Sozzi, an equities strategist who follows Wal-Mart, believes the retailer will continue to focus on adding services.
The possibilities are endless. Shoppers can order caskets online from Wal-Mart and they can even buy life insurance in 217 Wal-Mart stores. But they'll have to go elsewhere to arrange funeral services. And while customers can turn to Wal-Mart to help them file their taxes, they have to go elsewhere if they need assistance writing their will.
"Anything is fair game," says Wal-Mart's Barnett.
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