Much of what we do in public relations comes down to instincts. “What is the right thing to do?” we often ask ourselves. As I assess the myriad problems confronted by the nation’s (and one day world’s) largest retailer, I’m sometimes befuddled by the thinking at the Bentonville behemoth. Small case in point: the edict by the company’s corporate controllers to end its fun, irreverant and community-building singles shopping nights. (Not that this would be my preferred venue for seeking a soulmate, but for many, it’s the ticket.)
Wal-Mart should look to Starbucks’ image-defining music sensibility and wireless Internet access, Barnes & Noble’s pajama party kids’ reading nights and named-author events, and Home Depot’s in-store garden club and kids’ workshops. Wal-Mart is in denial.
I guess the retailer’s yellow smiley face will have to suffice.