the TELEGRAPH.au.com April 13, 2011
GORE STORE NO MORE
Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at 03:36am
Former Al Gore senior aide Leslie Dach dared to dream:
In July 2006, Dach was installed as the public relations chief for Wal-Mart. He drafted a number of other progressives into the company, seeking to change the company’s way of doing business: its culture, its politics, and most importantly its products.
Out went drab, inexpensive merchandise so dear to low-income Americans. In came upscale organic foods, “green” products, trendy jeans, and political correctness. In other words, Dach sought to expose poor working Americans to the “good life” of the wealthy, environmentally conscious Prius driver.
How did that all work out?
After suffering seven straight quarters of losses, today the merchandise giant Wal-Mart will announce that it is “going back to basics,” ending its era of high-end organic foods, going “green,” and the remainder of its appeal to the upscale market. Next month the company will launch an “It’s Back” campaign to woo the millions of customers who have fled the store.
Further from the Wall Street Journal:
Starting in May, Wal-Mart shoppers in the U.S. will see signs in stores heralding the return of fishing tackle, bolts of fabric and other â˜heritage’ merchandise that Wal-Mart reduced or cut out altogether as it attempted to spruce up its stores …
There’s a lesson here for all manner of mass-consumer businesses.