(PHOTO CREDIT: FunnyJunk.com)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Walmart is under fire for selling black Barbie dolls at nearly half the price of white ones - in at least one store.
Photos first appeared on a Web site called FunnyJunk.com showing Mattel's Ballerina Barbie - the white doll - with a price tag of almost $6.
These dolls are on the shelf right next to Ballerina Teresa - the black doll - with a reduced price of $3.
The photo was apparently taken at a Louisiana Walmart store.
Walmart says this was a business decision... telling ABC News that the price reduction was meant to clear shelf space for new spring inventory. They say many items are marked for clearance, adding "both are great dolls... one was marked down due to its lower sales to hopefully increase purchase from customers."
That reasoning works for lots and lots of products, but maybe not in this case. Not everything can always come down to a business decision.
Critics charge Walmart should have been more sensitive when it came to these dolls - they say that even if it's not intentional, the chain is sending a message that "we value blackness less than whiteness."
One sociologist says that when white dolls sell more than black dolls - it is because black parents are more likely than white parents to buy a doll of a different race for their kids. She suggests Walmart should have kept the dolls at the same price in order not to reinforce any "ugly inequalities."
Here’s my question to you: What message does it send when Walmart sells black Barbie dolls for less than white ones?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Joe in Rock Hill, New York writes:
Jack, Walmart was business-oriented when reducing the price of an item that has not sold. Anyone still holding a race card, please rip it up and dispose of it. When I buy jelly beans, I always throw out the black ones. Not that I am racist, I do not like licorice. I do not like coconut either. Get over the B.S.
There is a message even though people don't want to admit it. It is reflective of the situation in our American society: whites are valued more than blacks. It's not Walmart's fault by a long shot. Even black parents are more likely to buy white dolls for their kids than white parents are to buy black dolls. I am black and growing up I had way more white dolls than black dolls (and a racial complex to go along with it.)
Darryl in Denville, New Jersey writes:
Ahhh, c'mon Jack. I'm black (aka African-American) and will tell you unambiguously that it means nothing more than the fact that (a) parents tend to buy Barbie dolls that most resemble their daughters and (b) fewer black parents are buying their girls dolls. This should come as no surprise given the jobless rates among African-Americans. I'm sure Patrick Kennedy is smashing his T.V. to bits right about now.
Casey in Ruth, California writes:
You'd have to have some sort of mindset that incorporates consideration, fairness and ethnic sensitivity to be aware of the message you might send, wouldn't you? Walmart only speaks dollars, so their prices reflect pushing sales of items that are not currently selling. Why would you expect any other behavior?
This is silly. I worked at Walmart for 10 years. If an item does not sell, it will go on clearance. To single out a certain doll because of a color is racist in itself. I just see dolls on sale and one is on clearance.
Jim in Reno, Nevada writes:
Jack, Walmart's explanation rings true if for no other reason than they couldn't possibly be stupid enough to lower the price on the black Barbies out of racial prejudice.
If there is a message, only someone like you could see it. Another dull news day, Jack?
Just that supply-and-demand capitalism works. If you can't sell your product for one price, you have to lower your price to make sales.
That's just business.
Why should a store keep the price high and not sell their product for "PC" reasons?
Jack, Econony 101 – supply and demand.
Instead of subtly blaming Walmart for racial insensitivity here (as the question sounds) maybe you should be looking at the sales numbers for the different Barbies. It's possible Walmart is doing color-blindness a service by discounting these to try to get more people to purchase them when they're in fact not selling as well.
To me it means that someone needs to get a job or a hobby.
Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Not surprised that Walmart would do it, but can't decide on the message. Does it reflect lower demand? Does it reflect a desire to make them more affordable? Does it reflect a lower cost because of lower material costs? Despite the implication of the question, I doubt that Walmart put any more thought into it than "how can we make the most money out of these?" (And since when did you become so PC Jack?)
Jack, it says that people tend to pay less to black Barbie dolls that end up costing a great deal more thru the additional gold chains, platform shoes and the multi-caret zircon ear-rings.
Jack; Walmart is so big that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. They were probably made in China, and now that you have asked this question, the Chinese are having a great laugh at your expense.
It's a matter of supply and demand. WalMart probably has a large supply of black Barbies. They need a different name for the black "Barbie." When you say Barbie Doll what image comes to mind? The black Barbie needs her own name like perhaps "Precious."
Let's face it, no matter how you look at it, there is no good explination for this one.
George from Crofton, Kentucky, Veteran U. S. Army (Airborne)
This is WalMart's business decision. They know how to market better than anybody else in the country, so i won't try to offfer them any suggestions from the cheap seat that I sit in. However; if the reverse were true, i'm certain the NAACP (National Association of COLORED People) would raise HELL for some reason. REASON – do they need one?
Simple, it means there is a greater demand for one over the other, does this mean the goverment is going to have to set the market price so that we are politicaly correct? Can't wait to hear what the ACLU and the NAACP have to say about this.
Oh, are we still on about race in this country? How silly! But it's even sillier to expect it to go away. We would just find another way to discriminate against each other.
If you don't like something Wal-Mart does (I don't like OTHER things they do), then don't shop there (I don't). The beauty of capitalism is that it will succeed or fail based on the majority of "votes" won by people choosing to be their customers. The real question is not what it says about Wal-Mart, but what it says about the people who shop there.
Nothing surprises me about what Walmart does. They could hardly wait till Daddy Walton passed on till they could start selling cheap junk from China instead of goods made in America.
I believe they are trying to up their salesand make more profit. Are these dolls made in China? To me that is a better question.
Jack, when has demand for black Barbie's ever exceeded the demand for whlte one's? Look deeper into whether they are manufactured and stocked in greater number's, and you will see much more. The highest unemployment rates..no money available to purchase a black Barbie, let alone proper nourishment..the poorest neighborhood's...the lesser opportunity for basic education...the highest crime rates as a result..and those crimes are largely perpetrated by black's on black's...It is act's of continued bias fueling their futility...how sad..
this is the way the country is going.
Chinese Barbie Dolls would probably cost twice as much as white ones! And probably be made there, too!
It means that Walmart is selling so many black Barbie dolls that it can sell them for less than white dolls, passing the savings on to the customer and still make money.
Jack, get with the program. Barbies, Bratz and Elmo are out. Kids want "Smart" Cell Phones, ipods, computers and clothes. And besides who has the money to buy toys? Gas is high, rent, house payments, car payments and you're struggling on unemployment insurance.
For the same reason they sell medical prescriptions at lower prices than nearly all other competitors – to make money. Yup, it's that simple.
I think this says more about what it says about the country than what it says about Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is in business to make money and the black Barbie Dolls are probably not selling as well as the white ones. The reason for this is two-fold: (1) White parents are not buying black Barbie Dolls for their children (2) Blacks parents are probably buying more white Barbie Dolls than white ones for their children.
Although most Blacks won’t admit it many of them are still suffering from an inferiority complex, and whether consciously or subconsciously, view the white doll as more attractive.
If there is a message only someone like you could see it. Another dull news day Jack?
Supply and Demand...get over it. Race is a HUGE issue now that we have a Black President, when in fact it should be less of an issue. But, somehow, people like you, Jack find a thousand ways to worm the word "race" into every story.
We must get away from these crazy black, hispanic, issues. We are all Americans and that is what we should all think. I am not a Greek American, I am an American..If we continue down this road we are doomed like Rome was....
It may be a poor public relations move but pragmatic from a sales perspective. It could widen the market for the product by appealing to people with less disposable income. Maybe the dolls come from two different sources and the price to Walmart is not the same. Let the kids choose what they want and have the grown- ups stay out of it. That is, except for paying.
Uhhhh, maybe they aren't selling as well!
What message does it send when we still worry about this kind of crap??
Message? Do you actually think that WalMart sends messages to people by their doll pricing? The message is buy the cheap damn doll that was made in China. Black or white it's still the exact same doll and it wouldn't matter to me which one is cheaper because I don't plan on buying any of them. And for you to slip this in like it's some cheap ploy at racism is just ridiculous, for Heaven's sake Jack sometimes you really piss me off.
Jack even something as simple as selling a child's toy can be misconstrued as racist by those with the desire to spin it that way and exploit it. Would it have made any difference if the black dolls had been more expensive? I don't think we would have been looking at this question today on your show had that been the case. We can all find inequality in anything if we look hard enough and get the medias attention with it. My question to you is was is really meant to be racist or was in someone's perception of racist. Perhaps all future Barbie's need to be green so this issue never comes up again..
This is a non-issue. Walmart didn't pull Black barbies from the shelf and burn them in a large, public pile while wearing white hooded robes and chanting racist matras. They made a business decision based on simple supply and demand, and how to keep the most money in their pockets.
Now, had they chosen to celebrate black history month by having a sale on black barbies, this probably would have gone over much smoother.
Who Cares????? There are many more important things that are going on in this country thanks to our present government than who is selling what.
I don't know what is the matter with people today. Here they criticize a store for dropping prices on one of their products. That should be welcome not criticized. What if they would have raised the price higher for a black Barbie then a white Barbie. I'm sure critics would read something into that. This is just stupid. We are in debt up to our eyeballs, millions of people are out a work, and we are fighting two wars. But yet we can still find time to criticize a store for dropping prices on one of their products. I can see why we are 18th in education among the industrialized nations.
Racism is still rampant. The times have changed while racism remains the same.
Have we really gotten this politically correct ?? Most modern pianos have a total of 88 keys, 52 white, 36 black. How long before Steinway is sued because of this blatant discrimination ??
Jack, this makes me wonder how the Asian workers making these dolls feel, as they are not represented at any price.
I'm white and would like to buy a doll for my grandaughter but the only "ugly inequalities" I see is that I DON'T get a discount.
I thought we were supposed to be living in a free market, which means that Walmart should charge based on the demand and their marketing plans. Is that so strange?
Wonder why they didn't mark both kinds down and reduce even more self space?
Even though I am caucasian me thinks me smells a rat.
I would be mad too. There might be a bit of racism going on, making the black children see that their color isn't as important as the white ones.
What message does it send when Walmart sells black Barbie dolls for less than white ones?
If Wal-Mart needs to clear the shelves for spring inventory, shouldn't both Barbies (black and white) be at the sale price?
Wal-mart racist? nahhhh
Wonder where Wal-mart builds their stores, in black areas, white areas, or ethnically (least we forget our other races) balanced?
Who thinks up a question like this? I am going to watch MSNBC
It just proves that discrimination is alive and well in this country. Walmart should be called to task for this blatant show of racial bias.
Apparently, Walmart owners have never read the Declaration of Independence which speaks to equality of our citizenry.
It someone hadn't noticed and another hadn't put it on national news it would have had very limited message. But now Jack, thanks to you, if I have a need for a black barbie doll I will probably have to pay 6 bucks or maybe 9.
The "message" is obvious! Growing up as a white child in Alabama, I was allowed to take one of my many dolls to church with me each week. One Sunday I wanted to take my black baby doll, which
Obvious, isn't it?
Don't we have enough genuine racial conflict without manufacturing more? I see this pricing practice all the time, everywhere, on all sorts of items. If green towels aren't selling well, and the green towels are then priced the lowest, does that mean the store is racist against Martians? This is ridiculous. I for one would be more inclined to buy the better-deal black Barbie than the white one. What's so wrong about that?
It sends the message that Walmart was under the impression that the US was past the silly "Everything is about race" mentality it had in the late 20th Century and could make a business decision based on business. The black Barbie wasn't selling-so they reduced the price. Suddenly it's racist. Nonsense.
Oh for gods sake...is this what the news has come down to? Have we now finally reached the limits of political correctness?
The real cause for concern isn't with the price of black or white Barbies. The real cause of low esteem and "ugly inequalities" is in the fact that we have all been reduced to shopping at WALMART.
Jack, what part of a "free market" do you not understand? They sell for less because fewer people want them and the store had to lower the price to move the product. Why does every little, insignificant thing have to be thrown out as a "race issue" or a "gay" issue or some other supposedly mistreated minority. Business is business, get over it!
Walmart has many of the same item's contracted out from different suppliers. More that once the same product is found at different prices. This happens to be a Black Barbie. I hope this is the case here. And may any little girl enjoy a gift in the spirit it was given.
Walmart has been bigoted for years; obviously so to women and now to African Americans. If their intent was to merely price the dolls based on socioeconomic status, they failed miserably with their message. Shame on you Walmart.
You know what? If Walmart had kept the prices the same, then people would have been pissing and moaning about that as well.
Jack, just look at the way in which black and latina's are potrayed in the media. I mean come on there is nothing new about this. There has always been an underlying message that unless she is white she is not right. Many of my black friends only date white women for this reason. They've told me that they wanted their kids to "look white with light skin." They want them to have "good hair." This is a mental issue and a lack of self esteem for one's self that produces the type of mindset that Walmart and others feel.
Lets be really honest here people, this type of message is spoon fed to every woman that certain characteristics mainly present on white women is beautiful. That is why some white women and non white women dye their hair blonde or try and get nose jobs like Vivica Fox (a black woman)to look closer to that image. What is striking to me is that everyone wants to look like someone else because so many are unhappy with themselves. There are women recieving lip injections and buttock injections and deeply tanning their skin to appear more ethnic. I say enough is enough! Be proud of what and who you are no matter what!
Elementary economics 101 presents the law of supply and demand. Those without the discretionary income to buy toys will not "demand" them. The economists say then the price will fall.
You can be assured that Wal-Mart has calculated to the penny the profit of each item and each linear inch of shelf space brings in per hour in each and every store. When greater profit is available to Wal-Mart they contract to carry those items.
With Walmart and its former treatment of employees, not caring about customers, etc. I'm not surprised at their lack of ethnic sensitivity.
That said, if your merchandise doesn't move, drop the price and then discontinue carrying the items. That's Business 101.
Barbie is Barbie and will always be Barbie.
That less people buy the black dolls at the white doll price.
If WalMart was trying to clear shelf space for spring inventory, then the white Barbie dolls should have had a clearance price of $3 as well.
That they lack something deeper than a brain! Business decision! How about making human decision instead!
Jack, The message is clear: "we bought way too many black Barbie dolls, and need to clear our inventory". Come-on Jack, are you trying to insinuate that a fine up-standing company like Walmart would even THINK of doing something immoral or unscrupulous. Do you realize how dejected you've made all their high-paid, union employees feel? Shame on you. Layne A. Antioch, Il.
A BAD message. Enough with this stuff! Does no one have a brain anymore?
March 11th, 2010 3:28 pm ET
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To me it means that someone needs to get a job or a hobby.
I can see it all now. Someone will sue in federal court, and obtain an injunction REQUIRING stores to have the SAME NUMBER of Barbie dolls on the shelves of all colors, and to ensure that the same number of each color is sold. To do any less will be labelled racist, even if a particular doll does not sell well.
Why don't the critics realize that Wal-Mart is making the doll more available to Black Kids, an admittedly lower-income segment of society.
It tells me that a lot of people in this world need to get a life. And quit filling our heads with propaganda, innuendos, and etc. All it tells me is I can save $2. when I add to my granddaughters collection.
It's a doll. I can't believe we are even having this conversation.
You'd have to have some sort of mindset that incorporates consideration, fairness and ethnic sensitivity to be aware of the message you might send, wouldn't you?
WalMart only speaks $$$ – so their prices reflect pushing sales of items that are not currently selling... why would you expect any other behavior?
Walmart's explanation rings true if for no other reason than they couldn't possibly be stupid enough to lower the price on the black Barbies out of racial prejudice.
I hope you Jack who I've grown to love, respect and watch everyday surely a man of your calliber and talent wouldn't think this is about race! This is just clearly a buisness decision to get the merchandise sold at a faster pace, I would think there are better questions that you Jack and your staff could come up with that are of far more importance!
Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)
This is just another example of the buried prejudice and bigotry in American Society. It may be a business decision–but it's a bad one.
Are you kidding me is this all people have to worry about.
Get a life Michele Shawnee KS
If Walmart really wanted to cater to their core, they would sell the Mexican Barbie, instead of hiding her "in the shadows".
"Documantation" sold separately.
San bernardino, CA
My hunch is that the Walmart toy buyer is all over Mattel for designing a doll that did not appeal to black children. Walmart keeps their prices down by turning inventory rapidly. If a product isn't selling, they mark it down to get it off the shelf. I think this is much ado about nothing - if the white Barbie was marked down, but the black doll remained at full price, Walmart would be accused of ethnic gouging.
I used to work retail. The Red tag usually means that that item is on sale. And sometimes it may be discontinued.
However, Both Barbies look like the same model, just a different color, race and in that case both Barbies should be on sale.
What Walmart did is definately not a good PR move.
When a product of one design or color does not do as well as another of the same make or model due to the makeup of the people living in that area sometimes what the businesses will do in those instances is to move the one product to a clearance section. However sometimes when it does not sell, then the store calls the distributor and return the items for a store refund.
I guess it reinforces the 3/5 of one rule. Sad.
It's like everything else that's on sale, not so much in demand. It's not rocket science, maybe Ken is cheaper too, anyone ever check that out?
I worked in a retail store in Texas....ahem....the main Wal-mart competitor... and I witnessed this same case with dolls there. The white ones were stilling for about 45 dollars, while the black ones were selling for half that price, at 25 bucks! None of my peers believed me...so, its interesting to see now that I am not crazy and that this really does happen. It doesn't mean, though, that they are racist. Though it can send a message of segregation and racism, I don't think that was in intent to any degree whatsoever.
nothing at all, Wal-Mart is not a good Corporation in the first place they are one of the reasons that our country is suffering right now, most of their goods come from China! And we all know most of their products are laced with some material that hurts humans, that is why i never shop at Wal-Mart!
It means that they don't sell black dolls as fast as white ones, and they want to clear the shelves for more inventory. Stores have sale items all the time. Why make a case out of it?
Oh come on now! If a black Barbies needs a reduced price to sell, that is a reflection on the buying public and not on the retailer trying to move a product. On the other hand, what does it mean when we mark down the cost of education for the little girl who plays with that black Barbie?
And at one time you could never have found a black doll made by a major toy manufacturer. If you have an item that doesn't sell, then you have to mark it down in order to move it. Simple marketing technique.
I think its horrible. Every Barbie should be the same price. And I think they should make an Asian Barbie and a Native American Barbie. Life is diverse. I have bought black dolls for my very blond children, along with blond dolls. Even the dolls need friends. If we all looked alike, it would be a very boring world. We should celebrate our differences. Walmart needs to check their business sense.
the only message i see is that walmart is trying to get rid of an unpopular product. what are the demographics of the store? why is this an issue? years ago i bought my niece a handicapped barbie that was discounted at a major retailer. is the ada going after them? no. that wasn't a black and white issue. we need to stop this crap and realize that this is petty. if an item doesn't sell it is taking up space and becoming a liability to the store. by it being discounted i would be more likely to buy it for a child and explain to the child that there are other types of people in the world and now you can see that in your toy box. just because adults are close minded doesn't mean we should raise children that way.
Walmart has no moral principles, no rule of virtue whatever,the bottom line is the only line. Made in China , low paying non union employee,that kill the small business man
You have got to be kidding me.
It doesn't send any message. If things don't sell you have to lower the price. Apperantly there is no big demand for black dolls. CNN should not be starting a controversy. Before you know it you're going to have Rev Sharpton parading in front of the stores and CNN would love that. .
Go ahead stir up problems Jack. We have enough of that already in this country.
Perhaps the white dolls were selling better than the black ones and they need to move a product.That is how a store works, right? This would not even get this kind of attention if you guys (media) would stick to the meat of societies problems and report what really matters. Are you trying to spark a racial debate? Good luck with that!
It sends the message that they ordered too many black Barbies. It also says that they're going to sell slow-moving items to reduce their inventory in the way that works whether the racist race-baiters like it or not. Race-baiters are going to play the race card to create and manufacture racism and racial tension no matter what we do because the so many of rest of us have been trained to jump through those hoops. I'd like to hear the racists aka "critics" say on national television whether it would be racist if it was the white barbies that were reduced and explain their answer. And while they're at it what impact they think they're having on race relations when they habitually play bogus race cards.
Of course, there's the inequality issue, but because this was a "business" decision, the message I receive is that black people have less money to spend than white people. There may be some good to this story, the black Barbies may end up in some white homes. Those who can afford the doll are now likely to buy two of them.
We could go on and on analyzing the why's and wherefore's of such a thing, but the reality is it is just another piece of the puzzle to keep racial discontent stirred up.
John – San Antonio
It doesn't say anything! I'm so tired of people that always look for something to be "offended" about. They need to get a life.
I wonder how many complaints they would get if the white Barbie was the cheaper one...
Most likely, none.
Walmart doesn't care about people of any color, least of all visible minorities
It sends no message, except perhaps they bought too many black dolls for that location. Let's be real!!
The same massage as when a red t-shirt is on sale and cheaper than a green one.
Only your comments make it a race issue. It sounds like a business decision to me. When something doesn't sell at one price, reducing it clears it off the shelves.
It means people need a life!!!!
This means nothing. It's a pure business decision. CNN is looking to stir up some news. Come on, you can surely do better than that. If the black dolls don't sell, Wall-mart has the right to mark it down.
Really? We are paying attention to this? Just make the dolls the same price and move on. Sorry, but this is a very minor issue.
Who cares! Regardless of there being intentions or not, regulations should not be set as to the price of a toy. Since there are no regulations nor should there be, what is there to complain about?
3 Simple words come to mind.
"get over yourself"
Is a doll...this is going on everywhere, in the videogame industry, clothing industry. Seriously is a business, and is a product, if you dont like it, don't buy it, stop using the race card every time the sun comes up.
What this tells us is simple, the black dolls are not selling as well as the white dolls. As a bar manager I know that sometimes the beer I like doesn't sell as well as other beers and to liquidate my supply of a non-selling beer I lower the price. If this was the starting price on both items it would be one thing, but it wasn't, it was a response to the economic market of the similar products. It is simple business that people need to realize has nothing to do with social status.
You said it Jack...
"We value white more than we do white."
Funny how a black president changes our perspective.
If the doll on clearance was the white one, no one would have said a thing......
It doesn't send any message at all except to those who are looking to find a problem. Doesn't the United States have enough things to worry about without manufacturing more social issues? This is an example of the media creating problems!
I'm an African American, and i don't see what the big deal is...its just logic to reduce the price of the black dolls cuz they are not selling, why do we always have to read negative meaning to everything, can we focus on more important stuff..like children getting hacked to death in Africa...Like Really!!!
This story is sensational because one can draw a bad inference between races. However, Wal Mart has extra dolls that they want to get rid of. Wal Mart sells anti-freeze for GM cars (Dexcool) for more than regular anti-freeze so isn't that unfair, too?
US citizens must be running out of problems to worry abour such a silly matter. How worse would it have been if Wal-Mart had given the dolls away?
In think who ever was offended by the price cut on the black Barbie dolls story, needs to grow a thicker skin about the issue. If the product doesn't sell at a higher price, but sells at a lower one; you can't ask the company to take that finnancial hit just because it makes you feel uncomfortable. Don't shop there then.
Honestly Mr. Cafferty, With the problems we have in the world today in louisiana of all states I highly doubt that inequality or racial overtones were even remotely in the minds of Walmart execs or personel when the price diferences were discussed and displayed. Someone or someone's have a lot of worry free time on there hands.
YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING!!!!!!!! This is political correctness taken to (another) extreme. Will it ever end? This is pure and simple a business decision by Walmart to move merchandise. Nothing more! People have got to get over looking at everything through a "racial lens". Items like this, given press visibility as you have done, only serves to perpetuate the "victimness" mentality.
It sends the exact message Wal-Mart intended - the black dolls were not selling as fast as the white ones and were reduced in price in order to clear shelves and make way for products in stronger demand. There is a lot to criticise Wal-Mart for but this isn't one of them. The hue and cry over this matter is just another example of how incredibly run amuck is political correctness in this country.
If the white dolls had been half the price would anybody have said anything?
Wal-mart only cares about money, so this doesn't mean that they value "black" dolls less than white dolls, consumers do. This is just another case of Wal-mart making moves for profits with little regard to how it affects people.
The earliest known paintings of Jesus's Mother is the Black Maddona. His mother is jet black in that ancient painting. Of course the Vatican worked hard to get rid of the Black Maddona. If the Vatican can't accept a Black Jesus, why shouldn't Walmart sell Black Barbies for less?
Can CNN please buy all the black Barbie dolls and donate it to me. I can surely make many children happy with that doll as a gift instead of stirring up unnecessary racial tension.
Why is it even necessary to bring havoc on "silly, childish" situations! Then to of course have the real "racist" start saying Wal-Mart doesn't take food-stamps or Welfare...How silly are we with such low self esteem of Life!
Grow Up RACIAL mayhem is over...Unless you just insist on starting a Racial War...and I can guarantee that is something America certainly doesn't want!
I think the the question instead should be: what does it mean that they have no Native American, Muslim, Hispanic, Korean, etc. Barbie Dolls? Arlington, Tx.
i am a 35 year old black guy who loves his little girl. Over the past six years i have bought dolls, dolls and more dolls. Yes, black dolls do sale less, yes they go on clearance first. Let's face it, the only people who purchase black dolls are black people; just look and the Princess and the Frog ticket sales. I don't blame walmart at all. This is not a big story or an important story. It is a reach to asses "the value of blackness" by barbie prices.
Walmart isn't sending any message. However, the fact that you even asked such a question on national television sends me the message that certain people in our society are increasing cynical and paranoid about "stuff" that just doesn't matter.
Then probably Walmart can not sale egg plant cheaper than white onion. It is ridiculous.
As a veteran of the buying department in the walmart home office, I can only say that the folks of Louisiana and all over the world can rest assured that this was indeed nothing more than a business decision.
Wal-Mart MUST clearance out merchandise that isn't moving in order to make room for the next season.
It would not be unusual for a person to walk in to walmart and find that the white doll is marked down, but not the black one.
POS reporting tells them what to mark down. The black doll in my local store is not marked down.
For you to imply that walmart is in any way racist is ridiculous! This company has many MANY faults... but racism is certainly not one of them.
Try taking their Walmart university diversity and/or the servant leadership classes there, then come back and tell me that this is the case.
What does it mean??? It means that particular item number did not sell well and they have marked it down to make room for a product that sells better. Are people ever going to get past taking EVERYTHING personally? It is what it is, just like when they mark down ladies shoes. Should I assume sexism because I'm female?
Give me a break! What a waste of time.
Hello Mr. Jack,
I think they are making a big deal out of nothing, that is only a temporary decision to create some shelf space, as you can see the red tag is clearance ( of the moment), next week the white barbie might have the clearance tag price...we should not read "racism" in every thing, many things are done unintentionally.
For cryin' out loud, what else is this country going to complain about!?? This by far is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Wal-mart has done nothing to discriminate actual human beings, but people want to whine about their sales. Just for this I hope Wal-mart never has a sale price on anything ever again, and they raise the prices of all Barbies to $100
When is this 'politically correct' phase going to end. I see products that aren't selling reduced for clearance everywhere. Now company's have to worry about offending people because a certain doll, which happens to be "of color" is not selling? People love stirring the pot. It is a simple thing called 'supply and demand'. Personally, I would buy them up in bulk at the cheaper price and sell them on eBay for more.
It tells me, the Wal-Mart shipped to many dolls to that particular store, and since it is cheaper for them to clearance those items out than to return ship to the DC (distribution center) that is exactly what they did. Furthermore, it tells me that someone WANTS this to be a race issue, instead of a business decsion.
The story tells me 2 things:
1. Walmart had to many Black doll in inventory; and
2. The Media loves to stir up controversy.
Slow News Day?
E.J. adams Regina Sask Canada
Really! whoever took the time to waste saying one doll sells less than another doll just has toooo much time on their hands. OK, so well a sell a black doll for $10.00 more. Will that make him/her feel better? Golly, so much else to be concerned about – the price of a doll. Gee Whiz! I am a minority that never ever crossed my mind. AND, I guess I paid the higher price – no offense to anyone. What a stupid issue!
Good Grief..! Does EVERYTHING have to be politically correct these days? I agree maybe might be a needed business decision but a bad PR move by Wal-Mart; but why is this on national news? Who found this story & brought it to "the powers that be" at CNN & why?
DR – Post Falls, Idaho
Walmart should have put both dolls on sale for the same price OR offered a portion of the proceeds to a charitable cause.
They can certainly afford it!
I'm sure the people buying the dolls at reduced prices are not complaining. Fact of the matter, it is not uncommon for businesses to reduce prices for slow moving inventory. I think TOO MANY people look for reasons to complain and try to create racial controversy and no I am not white.
First point...The doll selling for less is not Barbie, but her friend Teresa so the message being delivered is you are worth less than your "white" friend – if you have any... This is yet another example of the onging mentality that is ever present in "America".... If you ain't white we gotta at least make something off of ya!!! Even if it is at half-price....TYPICAL!!!!
Jack, I as an African-american have no issue with Walmart selling a black doll for less than a white doll. With all the challenges we have as African-americans, I feel this is one battle we don't need to bother with waging.
I don't think Walmart's decision to sell black dolls for less than the white dolls had anything to do with racism.The prices businesses charge for products are driven by supply and demand, and it would not make good business sense for a company to charge less for a product that it could make a greater profit from. If the black doll was priced higher, some may think that the company is acting discriminatory because of this.
I would be happy to purchase that beautiful black doll for my little daughter.
This is not a question of superiority or inferiority, it is simply the answer to the laws of demand and supply. The race card is a veil over the eyes of a lot of people on both divides. On this case, lets just think Walmart's decision was influenced by the bottom-line.
Daniel Writes from Accra, Ghana.
When Walmart marks down the Black Barbie dolls but not the white ones, it only says their buyer misjudged how many of those items would sell.
Frankly, if I were a black parent with young children, neither of which accurately describe me, a doll with "white" hair and features would not have much of an appeal. On the other hand as a white parent, a doll with disproportionately large breasts and legs did not have much of an appeal either.
Should Walmart have to consult the ACLU every time it has a sale? If the cost of the African American doll was higher, they would be complaining that black customers pay an unfairly higher price and that black customers were being gouged. Let supply and demand determine price, not petty politics.
If more grey colored pants of the same kind out sold the black colored pants at Walmart does that mean Walmart will reduce the price of the black colored pants? I think not. This is the same subconcious discrimination that exist in our society. It's not done on purpose but it does affect the way make decisions in our lives and this unintentional discrimination needs to stop. Walmart certainly did not think this through.
Jack, I'm a black person, dolls irrespective of their color are not human beings. and so black dolls does not represent black people. Dolls are colored by colors and the fact that I'm a black does not make me to color my house black. i'm sure that not every black person goes for black dolls. We are talking of dolls and their colors not human beings and their colors right?
Jack, if I heard you correctly, you stated that sociologists say that black parents buy dolls for their kids of different race than themselves. How many sociologists did you poll to come up with that? Here is another goodie about Walmart. Do a story about the position on the shelves of black products or black models' pictures and images. Black products are always placed in the lower position from left to right or lower shelf. This has been a practive on TV acommercials as well, even on CNN.
That's between the Chinese & Walmart-it's called free enterprise!
Get use to it critics "what's the big deal with 'U' anyhow? keep your nose out of other peoples business!!
I cant believe that this is even being discussed, Can we focus a little more on the dangers that our children face when we send them off to school each day and not worry about black or white dolls we need to stop with the racial issues already, we need to worry about making this world a better place to live in together as one black white asian hispanic ...
Does anyone feel if it were the white Barbie on sale we would all be reading about this
This is ridiculous! There's no racism here. Those accusing Walmart have Racism-ism!
I'm no fan of Wal-Mart, but it seems to be a retailing decision – perhaps indelicate, but when are retailers ever concerned about more than the bottom line? Truly this is just another wild reaction that is fueling hysteria in this country. Doubtful you know anything about the demographics (particularly toy buying) in that area. You Tube and Twitter take things out of context , along with bogus scary e-mails that recycle the same horrified message year in and out. Stop adding to the stupidity, Jack.
I think the marketing dept got this wrong, should have had a sale buy one get the second one 50% off simple as all that.
It means that Walmart ordered too many black dolls and need to get rid of them. And the fact that we're even talking about this means that the no-church reverends need more donations.
Jack, when are people going to wake up to the principles of "free markets"? Yes, it is true, when free markets are left alone some products will sell better than others. It really is just that simple. Attempting to read some greater socioeconomic principle into the velocity and preference of customer demands is akin to forming a study group trying to explain why snow shovels just don't seem to sell in Florida. Come on people, what's next? Demanding that the Menu of a Chinese restaurant carry fajitas?
Cape Coral, FL
Here they go criticize a store for dropping prices on one of their products. If they raised the price higher for a black Barbie then a white Barbie THEN IT WOULD STILL BE CRITIZED. This is just plain stupid. We are swimming in debt and some manager at Walmart decided that if they reduced the price for one of the dolls then it would be easier for the public to afford it and it would help the store get rid of it quickly if they needed anymore space. But someone had to blame the store for dropping prices on one of their products. Its a doll for gods sake. Why all the attention.
It would appear to be rather insensitive but, store sales generally reflect stock levels and reductions of inventory by sales is perfectly normal.
The store mgr. or marketing people should use better discretion when this type item is put on sale when a similar items is not. Walmart take an objective look at your displays before the public or an organization takes offense!!
I can get TWO black dolls for the price of one white doll. Who do myou think I'm going to buy? My kid gets TWO!
Walmart marking down the black Barbies is nothing new. My oldest daughter is 17, and when she was little we would buy the black Barbies because of the price. She didn't mind, all she seen was a pretty Barbie not a color. I have to admit it has angered me more than once that both colors of dolls were not the same price. Its not just Barbies that have had this price difference. The regular baby dolls I have seen this way as well. The marked down dolls are not usually side by side with the non marked down ones. The Walmarts that I have shopped at have had a clearance isle that has the marked down dolls in.
Chances are no one made a conscious to lower the price of the barbie. A computer somewhere in Walmarts HQ analyzed the sales statics of that UPC number and noted that it wasn't selling. That computer told another computer that then did a cost analysis to determine a price point where Walmart could still make a profit. That computer then told a handheld computer in the store to tell an employee with a hip printer that this UPC's price has changed. The employee prints a new price sticker and then affixes it the the shelf that UPC was on. That employee then moves on the the next UPS that needs a new price sticker.
It sends the message that we are waaayyyy too sensitive about perceived racial slights. This is a non-issue that is entirely media driven. More important is the disparity of African-Americans and European-Americans in this country's criminal justice system. Equally important is that African-Americans are unemployed at ten percentage points higher than the "given" national rate. The "black" Barbie doll could cost $50 and our reality would still be the same, then again, then the argument would be that Wall to Wall Mart wants African-American parents to buy European-American dolls.
The message sent is that supply and demand forces actually do work on our economy.
I think it sends the message that the black doll is not selling well and they need to make room for newer items.. I see merchandise everyday marked down for clearance because it isn't selling. It gets so very tiring that blacks and whites are pitted against each other all the time. If you want all of us to get along and act as one people, then quit giving special news time to stories as trivial as this. I agree that the marked down dolls should have been placed in the clearance section, and not next to the regular higher priced dolls, and shame on Walmart for not recognizing this. But shame on those who still try to pit us against each other. We all are trying to live and make a difference, lets report on the "news" items, and not try to make new problems.
True!marketing decision, however, Barbie is not Black, so stores sell less. Walmart maybe should not have purchase from manufactory. Do their ethnic research and involve their Human Resource Dept. Stock Coretta King, Rosa Parks, Areatha Franklin, Beyonce, and the same for every ethnic group. Now, you know why the Black Dolls are on clearance. How many Black Anderson Cooper Dolls you think Walmart would sell !
Obviously the black ones weren't selling as well.Thus, they were marked down. This applies to ALL products sold at Walmart(and most retail stores). Some people need to get over it.
I think it says more that we care!
how come no body complained about the fact that there were three white dolls and only two black dolls. i am mad about that too. this is ridiculous
As a black woman who has NEVER had a Barbie (black or otherwise), I find the critics opinion absurd. Wouldn't the more logical conclusion would be that black parents find it hard to purchase a doll (although our skin tone) has all white features. Maybe they have a problem with the whole ballerina thing, etc, etc. But like all retailer who have an items that did not sell as projected, it is not RACIST or DEMEANING (to me as an African American) for it to be placed on SALE, Its a doll. What would the critics say if were double the price of the white Barbie, and was still sitting on the shelf, unsold, Would this be interpreted as WalMart gauging the black shopper, or making the white doll more appealling tyo shoppers.
Sharon in MD
And you are just now noticing this. Its the same with military figures. we in the collector world call them variants and in years to come will be worth more than there mass produced counter parts. Purchase a few and the price will go up. Continue to pass them over and they will practically give them away. Jack
You really stirred up the masses with this one. Hope you can find some objective answers in those upset minds. Good luck!
The Walmart barbie doll case is just another example of how the US consumers and regulators reacts excessively to "random events" in the name of political correctness.
Instead of pulling the race card, consumers ought to take opportunity to buy virtually the same doll at half the price, sounds like a good deal to me.
America was build on entrepreneurship and free trade, hopefully we wont forget those virtues.
It all has to do with demand. Children of color sometimes have had to accept a white doll because that is all that is available. Not many white children nor their parents have had the same experience.
I think they just wanted to get rid of the black dolls and that was why they reduced the price for the black doll. Victor from hyattsville md
Jack, this is all about supply and demand. There is no insensitivity here. This is capitalism. Capitalize on what is likely to make profit. The demand for black dolls didn't jive with what the manufacture thought it would. Period. Move on.
The fact that we are arguing about which color doll is cheaper, means racial equality has been reached. Doing more is nitpicking.
If you look closely at the tags you will notice that originally the black barbie was 5.93 sam as the white. When inventory is stuck at a certain time of the year it is charged taxes baised on the inventory. If a product sells fewer than anticipated it will cost a company less to sell that item at a loss than to get stuck with it at tax time.
let's try this again,i have never done this before but i guess because of my profanity my last comment was taken off,anyway for what it's worth,we have all this crap with health care,cars from another country that are killing our citizens,we have soldiers in other countries that are dieing by the day if not the hour,schools closing becasue the towns or counties are goin bankrupt,and now people want to talk about whether black dolls are selling less than white dolls.someone needs to tell these people that feel the need to express their thoughts on racial equality about dolls"GET OFF THE CROSS SOMEBODY ELSE NEEDS THE WOOD"
Sounds like affirmative action to me. When did Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson joint the board of directors of Walmart?