Wal-Mart is generally regarded by many people as the Big Bad Wolf. They come to town, huff and puff and blow down your mom-and-pop shops with little regard for the consequences. So the last thing Wal-Mart’s PR team needed was a scandal, especially one where they’re the victims but are treated like the perpetrators of the crime.
But Wal-Mart handled the controversy surrounding anonymous, racially insensitive statements being announced over the PA systems in its New Jersey store very well. Even right up to the arrest of a teen who is being charged in the incident.
It’s hardly Wal-Mart’s fault the media’s man-on-the-street interviews painted them as the bad guy. But Wal-Mart was proactive every step of the way, immediately distancing itself from the statement, making it clear they are just as outraged as its customers and members of the community.
Wal-Mart may do many things I don’t like, but they got it right in this situation.