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.