Walmart's ongoing campaign to convince New Yorkers that they need a discount superstore in the Big Apple is coming home. The world's biggest retailer sent a mailer to New York residents today, reports PolitickerNY, that takes a new rhetorical tack.
Instead of emphasizing job creation and discounts, which have so far been the cornerstones of the WalmartNYC ads, the mailer makes a case for Walmart's sustanaibilty bona fides. The ad has a picture of "locally grown apples" front and center, with the caption "Care About A Sustainable Future? So Does Walmart!" Guilt: they know their audience.
Politicker calls the ad a bald attempt to appeal to BoBo brownstone denizens in Park Slope and TriBeCa, who are more likely to be choosing between Whole Foods and the Greenmarket than between ShopRite and Walmart.
Polls have shown that many New Yorkers are open to the idea of Walmart, especially in conservative Staten Island. But New York's elected officials have so far remained obstinate in their refusal to allow it in city borders. They've said that they're opposed to Walmart in particular because of the chain's labor practices and lack of involvement in the community. (Target, Costco and Kmart all have outposts in New York, so the city government doesn't have an absolute injunction against big box stores.) For that reason, Walmart's decision to emphasize ethical issues rather than practical benefits in its trailer may be a wise one. Even if the ad doesn't end up convincing anyone who would actually shop in the store, it might change minds in circles with the ear of council-members.