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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Walmart and us.

A new Rasmussen poll confirms that a wide swath of Americans are just fine with Walmart (the volume and tenor of complaints withstanding). The poll does not obviate Walmart's need to continue to reach out to communities of every stripe, but it at least begs the need for us communication oriented folks to try and understand the role this company plays in the lives of a majority of its citizens. I have been told by older generations of my family that Walmart occupies a place not unlike that of Sears 50 years ago. As we have seen with Sears and KMart, Walmart must continue to evolve or it will slowly wither away and be replaced by the next big (or small?) thing. Americans are loyal, as long as you keep up with them.

To Aki's point from a while back, store experience seems like the next best frontier.

Study highlights:

"Sixty-nine percent (69%) of Americans have a favorable opinion of Walmart, including 29% who have a very favorable opinion of the retail giant.

A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 adults found that 29% have an unfavorable opinion of the firm.

Lower and middle income Americans are more likely to have a favorable opinion of Walmart than upper income Americans.

The reviews are even better among those who have worked for Walmart (or have family members who have been employed by the firm). Among these workers, 79% have a favorable opinion of the company.

Forty-two percent (42%) of all Americans say they shop at Walmart at least once a month. This includes 7% who visit at least once a week."


Jeremy said...

While Wal-Mart obviously tries to hit the low-price point in order to accomodate its customer's desire for low-priced goods, perhaps they could endear themselves to a greater range of customers if they focused on enhancing the "Wal-Mart Experience".

Many people don't relish the thought of wandering around a poorly-organized, dirty store where employees wander around unwilling or unable to help you. This is a consequence of their pricing model and their payroll policies.

Perhaps they can learn more from Target than simply how to emulate their communications.

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