Today we give thanks for the fact that we didn’t spend Thanksgiving night in jail after stabbing a fellow shopper over a Walmart parking space.
What, you didn’t notice that lots of people are making fun of Walmart today?
Dear Walmart: As videos of Thanksgiving shopping show, you have a PR nightmare. What’s the plan for 2014? http://t.co/xrTkABnElc
— Dave Lieber (@DaveLieber) November 29, 2013
The world’s biggest seller of cheap crap took some unusual steps to minimize the easily predictable wave of viral stampede videos this year. These steps ranged from beefing up security with off-duty cops to “using quota systems” for the hottest products and even issuing separate wristbands for sales events starting at 6 and 8, which allow shoppers to “return two hours after an event starts to pick up their purchases.”
But all the “SHOPSTRONG” bracelets in the world couldn’t prevent this knock-down-drag-out over a television:
US CEO Bill Simon made the morning show rounds today in what Forbes calls a “PR offensive.”
How did it go?
Simon had several issues to address:
- The fact that Walmart opened on Thanksgiving Day: “We’re opening a little earlier, because that’s what the industry is heading towards.”
- The fact that people sometimes go a little insane over retail: This year’s sales are “bigger, better, faster, cheaper and safer than ever.” We love Daft Punk and all, but that might not actually be true.
- The fact that Walmart’s employees planned multiple strikes around the country today to protest low wages: spokesperson Kory Lundberg told Forbes that “There’s nothing new” about these protesters, who represent only “a tiny percentage” of the company’s workforce. Nice diss there.
Before Simon even went live, Walmart flacks stuffed media inboxes with a chest-beating press release “announcing a record-breaking Thanksgiving day of sales: 10 million cash register transactions between 6pm and 10pm Thursday alone.”
Their stockholders must be soooo proud.
In case you were wondering, this is not a strictly mainland phenomenon. As YouTuber LouisPR puts it, “La Apocalipsis ha comenzado” (the Apocalpyse has begun) in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico on Thanksgiving night:
And here’s the aftermath:
We don’t know about you guys, but we’re thankful to be sitting at our in-laws’ place, watching Batman and wondering what the hell these people were thinking. Here’s a hint from Bloomberg:
“With more stores opening on Thanksgiving, malls have been seeing more guests who drank too much booze with their turkey”