WalMart will once again begin offering guns and ammunition to an additional 500 retail locations in mostly rural areas. The bold move is an attempt to reverse declining sales in WalMart stores over the past two years.
CEO Mike Duke made the decision last week to go back to WalMart’s core goods market by bringing back ‘heritage’ merchandise that targets male consumers. Among the most prevalent goods are firearms and fishing tackle.
Currently, firearms are sold in roughly 30% of WalMart retail stores. With the recent decision to reintroduce guns and ammunition into the foray of merchandise on the shelves, WalMart hopes to recapture and attract an increased share of male consumers.
In a recent Wall Street Journal article, David Tovar, a WalMart spokesperson, stated, “We made a business decision to sell them in certain stores because we have realized the appeal was perhaps broader than we thought.” He went on to say, “But we are committed to doing it as responsibly as possible, as always, in compliance with all applicable local, state and federal laws.”
The goal for WalMart is to provide rifles, shotguns and ammunition in roughly 50% of its locations in the United States. It is important to note that WalMart does not sell handguns, but rather, only air pistols and BB guns in a handheld form factor.
WalMart is already the nation’s largest retailer of firearms and ammunition. And, with the recent increase and movement toward more conservative and traditional politics and sentiment across the country, WalMart will be in position to capitalize on that trend.
Indeed, the recent news of the demise of Osama bin Laden will only serve to further stimulate that sentiment, along with an increased demand for firearms and ammunition. The fishing tackle will come along for the ride.
Every week, approximately 100 million customers, roughly 33% of the entire U.S. population, visit WalMart stores in the United States. Now, many of those customers can once again look forward to being able to purchase rifles, shotguns and ammunition at this favorite discount destination.
Founded in 1962 by Sam Walton, the Bentonville, AK based retail giant WalMart presently has 3,600 stores located in the United States, among a total of 8,970 across the globe. 2010 Revenue topped $421 billion. WalMart employs approximately 2.1 million people.
Watch news coverage and reaction to the recent change in direction regarding gun sales at WalMart:
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