Wal*Mart Drops Guns From 1/3 of Stores

Which is a GREAT thing. I went to high school with some of the people that work at the Wal*Mart in my home town and when I go there to get a fishing license, their abilities to fill out the paper work really make me wonder about how they manage with the waiting period for guns...

US News & World Reports
(among others) has the story:

The world's largest retailer decided last month to remove firearms from about 1,000 stores in favor of stocking other sporting goods, in line with a "Store of the Community" strategy for boosting sales by paying closer attention to local differences in demand.

"This decision is based on diminished customer relevancy and demand in these markets," said Wal-Mart spokeswoman Jolanda Stewart.

"As with all merchandise decisions that we make, our decision to remove guns from Wal-Mart locations is simply based on the lack of customer purchase history of firearms in a given community," Stewart said.
This is probably true, as much as I hate to admit it. No retailer, no matter how politically motivated, will continue to stock expensive items that nobody buys. Especially when they require special displays, locks, etc. As Wal*Mart tries to move upscale, it will need to start upgrading its sporting goods as well as its homewares. Think squash rackets instead of tree stands.

Incidentally, I bought my first piece of merchandise at Wal*Mart since 2003 last weekend. I was home visiting my parents, it was midnight, and one of the controllers for my playstation broke. Needing two functional controllers, Wal*Mart was the only option.

I'm ashamed.

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