Duane Reads! An example of how to not suck at corporate Twitter.
We’re suckers for rooting for the little guy, even if, in this case, the little guy is a ubiquitous chain David taking on an even more suffocatingly ubiquitous Goliath. Local, mostly beloved, sometimes begrudged, 40-year-old drug store Duane Reade overtook Walmart in the number of Twitter followers on Monday, 321,009 to 312,026. What does this mean!?! Probably nothing much, other than it’s a nice stick in the eye to the hyperglobalmega retailer, which still continues to be thwarted in its efforts to get a gun-peddling toe in any of the five boroughs. The company can take some pride in this, as Walmart has thousands of stores nation-wide, while Duane Reade has fewer than 300 stores in just the NYC area. But the news also gives us a lesson for companies that we can call How Not to Suck At Social Media. (more…)
Whether you think Wal-Mart is a talisman of neighborhood destroying corporate evil or a place to get reasonably priced consumer goods, one thing is now undeniable: they’re having a bit of labor trouble. Unions have been able to organize strikes in stores and warehouses in California and now they’re looking to expand the strikes to stores across the country on that holiest of shopping days, Black Friday. If you want to be a part of it without joining a picket line, you can now help sponsor a striking worker. (more…)
Lest you think hating on Walmart is only for you and your composting, coop-shopping, organic underwear friends, watch this video from yesterday where NYC elected officials tick off the reasons they very much don’t want the hyper retailer in city limits, and what they plan to do to stop it. In the wake of the Walmart Mexico scandal, an all-star cast of NYC politicos gathered to voice their opposition, including Manhattan borough President Scott Stringer, former comptroller Bill Thompson, city council members, assembly members and public advocate Bill di Blasio, all vowing to fight the company’s attempts to get into the city (Brooklyn’s Jamaica Bay is being considered as a site, in case you forgot).
“This is a company that will stop at nothing to maximize its profit,” di Blasio says. “Whatever it is, Walmart’s done it.”
Let’s say you’ve got some awesome handmade product or clever new invention and you’ve been trying to figure out which Brooklyn craft market is the best place to introduce it. That’s a lot of work, right? Wouldn’t it be better to skip that whole process of finding a local fanbase and go right to the hyperglobalmegacorp level? Mega retailer Walmart (currently the only thing still more controversial here than “shit ____ say” videos) is offering to give your product the American Idol treatment with its “Get on the Shelf” online campaign. The top three most popular things will be sold through its website, and the grand prize winner gets carried in physical stores. Perhaps you’re thinking, “but Tim, if I win, does that mean I’ll be staying up all night making batch after batch of home-brewed salsa to meet Walmart’s demand like some sort of artisanal sweatshop?” No! They’ll give you help scaling up production, which means you can ship that crap off to China and watch the fat profits of a hyperglobal economy roll in! Last day to enter is Feb. 22.
Like professional soccer, Budweiser American Ale and turning off your car alarm, megaultrahyper retailer Walmart has never really caught on in New York City. But don’t think they’re sitting there in Arkansas saying to themselves: “Forget it, Jake. It’s Target Town.” News came out this week that Walmart is planning yet another New York City invasion, and this time they could land on the shores of Jamaica Bay at the new Gateway II shopping center, reports Crain’s New York.
Walmart (whose total square footage of its stores is larger than Manhattan, btw) has attempted a few other incursions into the city before. But every time they try to crack the city, community and labor groups rise up in protest and block the way. Community leaders in Jamaica Bay are already vowing a fight too, but maybe they should save their energy. Because even if Walmart does come to Brooklyn, that doesn’t mean Brooklyn will come to Walmart. (more…)