Friday, March 19, 2010

Futility Of Wal-Mart Boycotts

There's another scandal for the evil empire in the news, complete with people getting all self-righteous and worked up and threatening boycotts. And even though Wal-Mart is being apologetic, they aren't losing any sleep.

No call for a boycott has ever had a significant effect Wal-Mart's results. There's two main reasons, according to this article.

The first is that Wal-Mart is too big. Even if somehow a pissed off group managed to deter $1 billion dollars worth of sales, that would have as big an impact as me making $2 less a paycheck.

The second is that no group can manage to wean enough people off Wal-Mart's low prices, especially not now with the rocky economy. Most people don't care enough about some vague and distant wrong (in their eyes) to pony up an extra chunk of change at the check-out line.

Now as much as it pains me to admit it, the latest flap involving the racial remark over Wal-Mart's PA system in New Jersey really isn't their fault. I really doubt the Emperor told his dark minions "hey let's make a racially charged statement in a random store to piss off a bunch of customers and draw bad publicity."

It was either a customer, or in my opinion more likely an ex-employee. All of those people coming out of the woodwork with indignation are just looking for an excuse, and since no one cares if Joe Asshole gets called to the mat for being a racist but all the networks will cover it if the nation's largest company does, they are talking about Wal-Mart instead of the clown that did the deed.

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