Walmart raises eyebrows after pricing doll on clearance

Psychologists and segregation researchers have called out Walmart for pricing similar dolls differently. The decision to lower the price of dolls not selling as quickly as others was an inventory control move. The problem – black dolls were discounted.

From the ABC News Business Unit

Walmart is raising eyebrows after cutting the price of a black Barbie doll to nearly half of that of the doll’s white counterpart at one store and possibly others. …

The Theresa dolls, which feature brown skin and dark hair, are marked as being on sale at $3.00. The Barbies to the right of the Theresa dolls, meanwhile, retain their original price of $5.93. The dolls look identical aside from their color. …

“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.

But critics say Walmart should have been more sensitive in its pricing choice.

More sensitive in their pricing choices?

Look, I understand the concept to a point. Adults think black kids will think they are worth less than white kids when they look at the price. In reality, the kids might think it’s cool since mom and dad may be able to by two of the dolls instead of just one.

This was an inventory control decision by Walmart that was most likely directly by a computer program. “Hey, you’ve got too many of these widgets and you need to lower the price to move em out.”

To twist a price decision that was based on supply and demand into some sort of racial disparity issue is kind of strange to say the least.

8 replies
  1. Wyndeward
    Wyndeward says:

    What a load of fetid dingoes kidneys…

    If the one doll doesn't sell, it gets marked down.

  2. pauldow
    pauldow says:

    Wal-Mart PR made a mistake. They should have said that they reduced the price in so more people could afford the doll that was marked down. They expect to sell many more now.

    I'm surprised no one's complained that by reducing the price, it deprives the states of necessary sales tax revenue!

  3. donh
    donh says:

    A few years back there was a racism documentary on TV that put a black and white doll in front a  young black girl to play with . She picked up the white doll. The study was done to demonstrate deep seeded  self esteem issues among blacks. There is legitimate factual cause that a black doll is harder to sell and needs a steeper discount to close out. What this story proves is that once healthcare passes YOUR NEXT on the hit list Walmart.  So you Walmart executive better bend over and let a Union OWN your work force or there will be lots of trouble and bad press for your brand name.

    • GdavidH
      GdavidH says:

      Don you are absolutely on Target (oops). I can't wait to see the negotiations for these contracts.

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