retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• Poor Walmart.

Normally, it just has to face off against union organizers, anti-big box forces, and even bribery investigators.

But this week, it found itself fighting online with one of the stars of "Two and a Half Men" and "That Seventies Show."

Ashton Kutcher - who also happens to be known as a savvy technology investor who has more than 15 million followers on Twitter - decided to use the social media platform to criticize Walmart for low wages.

He tweeted, in part: "You had 17 billion in profits last year. You're a 260 billion$ company. What are we missing?"

Interestingly, Walmart was paying attention, and tweeted back: "We think you're missing a few things. The majority of our workforce is full-time and makes more than $25,000/year."

Kutcher's response: "Walmart should be the leaders not the low water mark."

And Walmart's rejoinder: "We know you believe in opportunity like we do & we'd love to talk to you more about it."
KC's View:
It could've been worse. Walmart could have gotten into a public spat with Charlie Sheen.

Mostly, I'm fascinated by the fact that this debate took place on Twitter in real time. Which tells you a lot.