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What’s up with Wal-Mart?

There’s been a lot happening with Wal-Mart lately. Last week, Advertising Age reported that in the company’s attempt “to broaden its appeal and woo both upscale and urban markets” it has “hired a gay-marketing shop, joined the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and begun discussions with activist groups about extending domestic-partnership benefits to its employees.”

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There’s been a lot happening with Wal-Mart lately. Last week, Advertising Age reported that in the company’s attempt “to broaden its appeal and woo both upscale and urban markets” it has “hired a gay-marketing shop, joined the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and begun discussions with activist groups about extending domestic-partnership benefits to its employees.”

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Meanwhile, DiversityInc highlighted that “Wal-Mart’s recent partnership with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) clearly has alienated some anti-gay groups, which are trying to stir up opposition to the giant retailer.”

And then, other reports this week focused on the retailer’s addition of upscale goods to draw in a wider shopping audience interested in more than low prices, as well as it “making nice with urban politicians and anti-Wal-Mart activists through a new ad campaign that touts its improved health insurance policy and charitable giving programs.”

Whatever it is that’s going on, Wal-Mart is changing. Many of these new moves could alienate its core customer base. Yet amid a sluggish back-to-school sales period, the retailer reported that same-store sales for August rose 2.7 percent.

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About the author

Lynne d Johnson is a Content + Community Consultant developing content and community strategies that help brands better tell their stories and build better relationships with people toward driving brand awareness, loyalty, and purchase intent. She has been writing about tech and media since the Web 1.0 days, most recently about how the future of consumer interactions will be driven by augmented reality and wearable tech.

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