Poor Defenseless Wal-Mart

Does this PR campaign by Wal-Mart to "Straighten the Record, and Get the Truth Out There" strike anyone else as surreal — Or is it just me?

This is the largest retailer in the world, with over a million employees and a 1/4 trillion dollars in annual sales. Their CFO was the Guest Host on Squawkbox; The company took out full page ads in 100 newspapers. The wounded giant act comes across more like proaganda than a "record correcting" mission.

I guess that the onslaught from a few bloggers, a book, and dozens of discrimination suits were too much for the defenseless behemoth.

As far as Investors are concerned, there are some very legitimate issues worth addressing. Some states, like California and Vermont, are none-too-thrilled to be part of the ongoing Wal-martization of America — cheap imported goods, displacement of small communities, labor issues, loss of manufacturing / clothing jobs, traffic, noise etc. These issues might be suggesting that the easy part of Wal-Mart’s national expansion is likely in the 9th inning.

In light of that, the wounded goliath act comes across as rather disengenous PR ploy.

Disclosure: I’m more of a Target shopper than Wal-Mart — so thats my bias.

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  1. Dominic Jones commented on Jan 13

    The reason this campaign will fail and make them look defensive is because they say they care about communities on the one hand, then call critics “rediculous” and put up a website http://www.walmartfacts.com that doesn’t have comment or trackback. They don’t really want to discuss the issues people have. Or put another way, they want to tell their story and to heck with everyone else.

    From an investment perspective, I don’t expect them to roll-over for every do-gooder. But I do expect them to manage their PR problems so that they don’t become my problem. They’ve botched this, and so it becomes my problem. Or something to watch closely.

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