I Thought We Were Post-Racial

A pseudo-controversy erupted this week when a Wal-Mart in Louisiana decided to mark down black Barbies to $3.00, 1/2 of the former price.   The race-baiters took the story and cried racism.  Sounds more like something called retail economics and inventory control to me – I guess that makes me a racist.

Are you kidding Cafferty?  Wal-Mart values white parents rather than black parents?  Wal-Mart values green (money) more than anything.

From a Wal-Mart spokesperson:

“To prepare for (s)pring inventory, a number of items are marked for clearance, ” spokeswoman Melissa O’Brien said in an e-mail. “… Both are great dolls. The red price sticker indicates that this particular doll was on clearance when the photo was taken, and though both dolls were priced the same to start, one was marked down due to its lower sales to hopefully increase purchase from customers.”

“Pricing like items differently is a part of inventory management in retailing,” O’Brien said.

Marking the price down would make the dolls more accessible to parents.  Where is the problem here. I wonder what the cry would have been if the white Barbie was cheaper than the black one?  They would sell out the white Barbies, that is what would happen.

Wal-Mart is a business interested in making as much money as possible.  If they thought a product would sell at a higher price and increase their margin, they would do it.

Of course, this is just my opinion.

Rob’s Rant

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Taos Hotel Owner Tells Whiney Employees to Push a Rope

I found this story interesting.  It highlights a new hotel owner in Taos, NM.  He bought a distressed hotel and decided to run it his way (since it was his money.)

I applaud Larry Whitten.  I like the fact that he is not backing down.  He explained in the interview that he fires everyone and they have to reapply for their jobs. Also, having someone use an easy to recognize name is common practice in customer service arenas – try and contact a call center and log what name they use. I’ll bet it is something simple.

Evidently CNN’s Rick Sanchez has changed his name to be more accepted by the American audience as illustrated by this clip. Sanchez also agreed with the hotel owner and his policy for those people answering the phone and dealing directly with customers.

The bottom line is that this is Mr. Whitten’s hotel – he paid for it and is responsible for making it profitable. He understands business. If he is successful, more local people will have jobs and that is real job security.

Of course, this is just my opinion.

Rob’s Rant