A new feature here on the Beyond Niche Marketing Blog… where we’ll take a look at the ever puzzling antics of the world’s largest retailer.
It began innocently enough. Apparently (according to my source) Walmart hired talent away from #2 player Target. (Pronounced “Tar-zhe” at our house for years, originating long before the retailer decided to become a funky, trendy and hip discount merchant. It was poking fun a the retailer’s efforts at the time to be more than just another discount retailer.)
The result of Walmart’s head hunting exhibition: better clothes for women in the stores. How do I know? My college student began actually wearing the clothes I picked up for her at Walmart. In addition, her college classmates have been complementing my choices for her. (Some how, I gave birth to a girl who hates to shop! Go figure! She’ll make a great scientist and her white lab coat will serve as fashion for my beloved beauty.)
However, Walmart doesn’t trust their customers to tell the tale, so instead they launch their own social networking site, complete with fake profiles. How were they busted? How many 13 year olds do you know who restrict their conversations to the great clothing options available at their local Walmart?
Perhaps Walmart should have let nature take it’s course. Improve the products and trust that their customers would tell their friends. Then again, that would require respecting the customer… something Walmart lost sight of LONG ago.
Long ago and far away, Sam Walton didn’t worry about what was hip and trendy. He built an empire on the foundation of low prices…always low prices. His respect for not only his customers but also his employees was truly the foundation of his success. I’m certain ol’ Sam would not be happy with what’s happening today at the stores which bear his name.