Our first reaction to coming across news that Canadian Walmarts recently introduced a 100-page free glossy for their patrons – after utter disbelief, of course – was “surely this is satire.”
That a store known for being filled with cut-price junk food (and even installing McDonald’s franchises in some of its locations) chose to call this publication “Walmart LiveBetter” only underscored that feeling. (That one of the call-outs on the cover of the first issue reads “Let’s Stroll: Great gear for babies on the go” certainly did nothing to dispel this. In our day, you slapped a diaper on little Julius and that was that.)
Yet why shouldn’t Walmart have its own custom publication? It has an enormous fan base, and clearly it’s not short of a dollar or two. That this is being positioned as a bimonthly with a 1 million run copy is impressive, no matter how rich the company. (All becomes clear when you realize that rival Target has opened up 24 stores throughout Southern Ontario this year alone.) Hopefully a little more thought will go into its design if the cover is anything to go by.
All that aside, we still foresee spending the rest of the day making up magazine titles more fitting to Walmart….