Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Browsing for butter, lip balm on


grocery.jpgYou can look but you can’t buy — online at least.

Wal-Mart has started allowing visitors to its website to browse some of the groceries, health and beauty, and pet products that the discount giant sells in its stores.

Instead of being able to buy the items online, browsers can check to see if the products are in stock at a store near them. spokesman Ravi Jariwala said the new feature will help consumers save time and plan their shopping trips before they hit a Wal-Mart store. He also said allowing website visitors to check if a product is in stock at a local store has become one of the most frequently used features on its website.

The products that Wal-Mart has added to its website are actually the ones that have been driving Wal-Mart’s U.S. sales this year.