By: Simone Baptiste, Beverly B. Media and Communications.
Christmas seems to come earlier and earlier each year. Although the days on the calendar remain the same, commercials calling for consumers to shop for Christmas seem to start while we are still in shorts and flip flops. The day retailers are now shooting for is Black Friday. A day once promoted for getting great deals on electronics and clothing is quickly turning into a day of chaos and violence. The retailer leading the way in the melee is your friendly neighborhood Wal-Mart.
While a number of retailers and malls experienced violence on Friday, Wal-Mart’s name seems to be leading the pack in the media. In 2008, a Wal-Mart employee, in New York, was trampled to death by shoppers in frenzy for store wide deals. Fast forward just four years in a California Wal-Mart, a woman allegedly pepper sprayed a crowd, including children, all for an Xbox. Could Black Friday possibly turn into a black eye for Wal-Mart?
Understandably every retailer looks forward to Black Friday because it, well, puts them in the black, but when does the retailer start to take some responsibility? Do I believe people must morph into animals just for a bargain? NO! Some of these people behaved in the same manner last year for a product that is now lying on the floor in their closet or in their junk drawer with the other products from Black Friday pasts. However Wal-Mart is already on shaky ground in the community, from low wages for employees with children (the majority of them live below the poverty line), to a sex discrimination class action lawsuit (the supreme court dismissed the suit in June of this year) Wal-Mart shouldn’t believe they are too big to fail. Instead of speaking out about and against the violence that plagues Wal-Mart stores on Black Friday, they are taking a stance of self-defense. In the Los Angeles Times Nation Section Wal-Mart Spokesman Greg Rossiter was quoted as saying “It’s been a very safe event at thousands of Wal-Mart stores,” Rossiter said. These were “a few unfortunate incidents.”
What should Wal-Mart do? Wal-Mart CEO and President, Mike Duke should appear on television or on the radio to discuss the situation and the plan to make things better for next year. Ignoring the problems only portrays a lack of concern for customers that are faithful to Wal-Mart, it makes it seem as though they are nothing more than a dollar. A note to Wal-Mart, you better love the one your with because there is always someone that will treat them better. Hey Target…how you doin?
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