retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Bloomberg Businessweek reports on how, over the past year, Walmart "has focused as never before on beer -- a U.S. category worth about $45 billion -- and has moved aggressively to grab market share. The company has doubled the number of alcohol buyers to 12 and offered discounts on a range of brands, from mainstream Coors to such craft beers as Deschutes. It ditched slow-selling products to make way for beer and is even selling it in garden centers. New stores are designed to put the suds front and center."

The irony? "Founder Sam Walton frowned on drinking to excess, and Wal-Mart has said little publicly about its latest ambitions. Unlike initiatives to expand produce or steak sales, the beer push has been so discreet that some analysts who cover Wal-Mart haven’t even heard about it. Inside the company, attitudes are changing. Wal-Mart now promotes alcohol in its circulars, reversing a previous ban. Two Walton grandsons even spearheaded a successful campaign to overturn a ban on retail alcohol sales last year in Wal-Mart’s home county of Benton."
KC's View:
The reality is that beer is a good fit with Walmart's locations, demographics, and image. It can make money in the category and drive traffic with promotions.

It is all about redefining core values.