Wal-Mart (WMT) has decided Mom does not want flowers or candy this year. It is aggressively marketing the new Nintendo Wii Fit as a way to pull reluctant and impoverished shoppers into its stores.
According to Reuters "the Walmart.com homepage will be dominated by the Wii Fit — a physical exercise program that uses a pressure-sensing board as a controller — including a link to order the product now, ahead of its May 19 U.S. launch".
It may be perverse to think that women who were not varsity athletes in their earlier years could use the Wii Fit. But, retailers are grasping at straws to try to make a sale, even if Mom ends up in the emergency room.
The new marketing plan actually may work, but not for the reasons which Wal-Mart has stated. Many Mother’s Day gifts are bought by children and teenagers, often with money from Dad’s pocket. The youngsters may sneak off and buy that Wii Fit for themselves and stop by the florist on the way home.
Wal-Mart wins either way and for capitalists, the is what counts, Mother’s Day or not.
Douglas A. McIntyre