retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Walmart announced yesterday that "as part of its overall strategy and goal to source more from women-owned businesses," it has worked with the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and WEConnect International, in collaboration with Rouge24, a women-owned graphics agency, to develop a “Women Owned” logo "to help customers easily identify products made by women-owned businesses sold through any retailer. All women-owned businesses that are WBENC and/or WEConnect certified are eligible to display the logo on their product packaging."

"As the world’s largest retailer, we have the opportunity to use our scale, purchasing power and local presence to help others," says Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and senior vice president of Walmart Sustainability, in a prepared statement. “By sourcing more products from women-owned businesses and making it easier for customers to identify those products at the shelf and online, we are helping to empower women and their families. We are excited by the power of business, and retail in particular, to increase women's economic mobility.”
KC's View:
While I understand, at some level, why Walmart wants to talk about this effort as being a kind of philanthropy, I think it might actually be a lot more effective to say that this is a hard-nosed business decision that looks to make the company more relevant to the majority of its shoppers while at the same time taking advantage of women's ability to innovate in different kinds of ways.

To my mind, this ain't charity. This is smart business.