Reports indicate that Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) has set aside millions of dollars that are meant to ensure Americans are made aware of the investments the retail giant has made domestically. This is aimed at rehabilitating its reputation. Earlier in the year, for instance, $17.6 million was spent by the retailer to get the word out that Walmart had plans to purchase products made in the United States worth $250 billion.
Walmart also spent $650,000 last year to highlight Walmart Academy, a worker training program. The retailer has been making efforts in the recent past to ditch a reputation of being a corporation that cares only about profits and which has not worker-friendly.
Two years ago the retail giant made a commitment to invest approximately $2.7 billion over a period of two years in employee training, making scheduling improvements and in offering higher wages. This is because as e-commerce grows and people increasingly do their shopping online, the success of brick and mortar retailers hinges largely on improving their in-store experiences. As a result of higher pay, Walmart has admitted that customer service has improved.
Walmart has also come to the realization that making changes is not important by itself but customers need to be convinced that indeed change has taken place.
And with regards to its management of public relations, Walmart has recently had to apologize after a gun collection was depicted as being one of the items to purchase during the back-to-school season. Walmart said the depiction was awful and that it would take the display down. This came after a photo that showed a glass case which contained guns and which had a controversial sign just above it.
“Own the school year like a hero,” read the sign.
The photo was posted online and it quickly went viral on social media platforms. This was not the first marketing gimmick to embarrass the retail giant. Last year there was a photo taken at one of its Panama City, Florida locations also ignited controversy.
On Wednesday shares of Walmart Stores Inc rose by 0.65% to close the day at $81.61.