A Walmart “reality show”: Really?

Apparently Walmart is planning a PR-marketing campaign done in the style of a TV reality show, to focus on the positive things that the company brings to consumers and its associates. I’m among several RetailWire panelists who look at this with somewhat jaundiced eyes:

Is Walmart an “American success story”? Absolutely, and its remarkable growth should be celebrated. But, at the same time, it struggles with image problems for a reason.

From its predatory pricing tactics that earned market share as it spread geographically, to its relentless pursuit of the lowest costs possible from its vendors and supply chain, Walmart has been dogged by a reputation for ruthless business tactics. At the same time, it has never completely shaken its image as the “lowest common denominator” place to shop, with lesser quality and service practices (checkout lanes, restocking the shelves).

Any attempt to portray Walmart in a positive light through a so-called “reality show” lens ought to acknowledge a few of the blemishes, too.


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