The holiday season is still six months away, but already Walmart (WMT) thinks it knows what you want.
The company says its warehouse outlet-- Sam’s Club-- is planning to stock the shelves with about a dozen different drones, ranging in price from $100 to $4000, for the key shopping period.
Yahoo Finance Columnist Rick Newman believes the world’s largest retailer is spot-on in thinking that this product will-- no pun intended-- take off.
“This is inevitable,” he argues. “When you look at remote-control cars and little vehicles were popular for so long, it seems the same thing is going to happen. People love these kinds of toys.”
Monica Mehta, Managing Principal at Seventh Capital, agrees.
“We’re looking for something fresh and fun,” she explains. “And that’s fresh and fun. It flies, come on!”
Newman adds people are also looking for a different option when it comes to tech.
“We’ve got to spend money on something other than phones,” he says.
Yahoo Finance’s Lauren Lyster points out that one Walmart executive told the Wall Street Journal the company stumbled on the drone idea almost by accident.
“They put an $1100 drone on their website and it sold like crazy,” she notes. “So they said ‘Hey, this could be the new, big holiday gift.’”
But Mehta understands why retailers might have been hesitant to bet on drones at first.
“We have this ‘evil empire’ view of what drones are and what they do,” she argues. “I have a drone for my daughter-- she’s a little fairy that lights up and spins around. It’s the cutest thing ever.”
However, Newman worries that if drones become ubiquitous, a new kind of problem will arise.
“I think we’re going to see vigilantism,” he says. “I think we’re going to see people saying ‘Get that drone out of my airspace.’ And I think we’re going to see battles between neighbors.”
Mehta is less concerned about drones creating conflict and more interested in them creating entertainment.
“I’m waiting for the mountain of stupid YouTube (GOOGL) videos that are going to come out with the proliferation of these drones,” she laughs. “That’s the upside for the rise of the drones as far as I’m concerned.”
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