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10 Retailers That Are Taking Advantage of the Pokémon Phenomenon

dawngeske profile picture
August 09, 2016 · 2.6k Views

If you haven’t at least heard of Pokémon Go, you need to check yourself as this game is taking the nation by storm. It is single-handedly getting people moving and exploring areas they have never been before all in search of those elusive PokéStops.

Source: Forbes

Retailers are getting in on the craze by announcing their stores as PokéStops and taunting players with digital monsters that they can catch and fight while shopping at their store. While some retailers are forbidding users from playing in their store, others are embracing the fad and welcoming the additional foot traffic in the name of the game.

Social media is helping get the word out about retailers participating in the Pokémon hunt with many offering set times for game players and special offers to those that post finding a monster in their store. Retailers pay to have their location designated a PokéStop, but that hasn’t stopped many from getting in on the fun.

 Related news: T-Mobile Offering Free Unlimited Data for Pokémon Go Players


  1. GameStopWhile it won’t surprise you that a video game store is a PokéStop, as GameStop placed lures at 50 of its locations. What might surprise you is how invested it is in getting customers to its stores with a dedicated Twitter account to the game that updates customers on when a monster is at its stores.

    Source: Venture Beat

    Further cashing in on the popularity of the game, it offered a $25 in store credit to anyone that traded in used video games toward the purchase of Pokémon merchandise or for gift cards on iTunes or Google Play.

    GameStop’s social media is a barrage of Pokémon promotions, showing in store Pokémon merchandise and offers for Pokémon codes. Keep an eye on its Twitter account for more Pokémon deals to come.

  2. WalmartWalmart also has jumped on the Pokémon bandwagon, inviting players to explore its stores in search of monsters to fight. It offered a deal on plush Pokémon toys, posting the deal to its social media sites several times for anyone that caught a monster in its store and let Walmart know about it. Watch its social media site for more deals like this.

     Related news: Sam's Club Offers Free 1-Day Pass for Pokémon Go Players
  3. Sam’s ClubPokémon Go players are invited to play at Sam’s Club as the warehouse store suggested users play in bulk, capitalizing on how most people shop at the store and its large quantities of product. It’s social media sites showed monsters at the register and other places in the store to tempt customers to find while they also shop at the store.

    Source: Cuckoo for Coupon Deals
  4. Target. Target has been relatively low-key about its Pokémon pursuits only posting once on social media about the phenomenon with a rare Machop monster spotted in its aisles. This was a signal to players that it is a PokéStop and that it welcomes players to the store.
  5. Best Buy. Best Buy did the unimaginable for Pokémon Go players by opening its corporate location and giving users access to places that were previously only accessible by its employees.

    Source: Reddit

    It is taking advantage of the game by promoting Pokémon accessories on a special page on its website, saying it is everything a Pokémon trainer would need and should stock up on. Everything from battery chargers to cell phone cases and headphones is mentioned.  

    Watch Best Buy’s Deal of Day on Twitter as it has been offering discounts on Nintendo 3DS games as an incentive to Pokémon Go players with as much as 20 percent off some Pokémon-related games.

  6. MeijerUsing social media to get the word out, Meijer posted monster finds by its customers as well as some it found in its stores itself. It has promoted that it has Pokémon plush toys for purchase and ask that players keep sharing their finds.

     Related news: Nintendo Stock Surges Amidst Popularity of Pokémon Go
  7. ShopRiteShopRite announced that the Howell and Tom River locations in New Jersey are PokéStops, inviting players to come and find the Pokemon monsters and fight them off.

    Source: Path to Purchase Institute

    Coinciding with the release of Pokémon Go, ShopRite held a game to see which Pokémon team had the most players. It followed this up with several posts on its social media announcing the winner as Team Mystic.

  8. KmartKmart got wise to the Pokémon craze by relocating all of its Pokémon essential items near the checkouts and promoting it as such. It included game necessities such as batteries, candy, iTunes and Google Play gift cards, Off and sunscreen – all needed to keep you fueled and protected from the outdoor elements while playing the game.

     Related news: What You Need to Know About Pokémon Go Malware and Robberies
  9. Lowe’sThis home improvement store is a PokéStop that it has said are typically found in its lawn and garden section. To tie in with the release of the game Lowe’s promoted a home improvement video with the Pokémon figure and social media is full of users that have found monsters in the store, leaving clues for the next player that comes along. With the vast amount of space Lowe’s takes up, you’re bound to find a monster or two lurking around.

    Source: Path to Purchase Institute
  10. Dollar GeneralSharing updates on its social media, Dollar Store has updated customers on Pokémon monsters that have been found in their stores and has asked players to share which ones they have found while shopping. It encouraged players to hunt their stores for monsters and even offered a coupon for $5 off a $25 purchase through its mobile alerts.

 Other Potential PokéStops

Sephora is an unlikely place for a PokeStop, but customers are posting multiple sightings at its store. The retailer hasn’t acknowledged the craze on social media but is still a good spot to go exploring for monsters. Pokémon monsters have also been found at Forever 21, H&M, Macy’s, and Bloomingdale's.

Pro Tip: For a bonus way to find PokéStops, try your local state fair as many are reporting that it is a site for Pokémon Go players.

With so many retailers cashing in on the Pokémon craze whether it’s by posting sightings on their social media sites or through merchandise offers, it’s quick to see this as a money-maker for stores. The additional foot traffic is welcomed by most retailers as they assume some of this will turn into purchases. Take advantage of the hype that is being created and what it means to customers that are seeing potential savings on Pokémon Go products and accessories. Start exploring for monsters at these locations now.


dawngeske profile picture
Dawn is a Milwaukee-based freelance writer that is a self-confessed shopaholic - always on the lookout for a great deal. She loves food, travel and binging on Netflix. She has a background in marketing and worked as editor-in-chief of a monthly magazine. Currently, she focuses her time on crafting copy that her followers love to read.

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