Walmart has faced various public image conflicts after lawsuits ranging from discrimination to the employment of undocumented immigrants. To combat the decline in the public's perception of this once-iconic retailer, it might be helpful to consider techniques like the following:
1. Use social media effectively. Targeted use of social media can make a company seem less sterile and more personal. Reaching out via personal comments that reflect humor and empathy can go a long way in gaining public trust.
2. Be a visible positive presence in the community. Companies like Walmart are often in a unique position to really help victims of natural disasters and other tragedies through tangible means. Helping those in need by providing Walmart products and services builds community trust.
3. Use celebrity collaborations. Similar retailers have found great success in partnering with celebrities to deliver fashion and home goods that are only available in that particular store. Using celebrities with a positive public image to collaborate with Walmart's large-scale consumer base could help shoppers see Walmart in a fresh way.
4. Offer healthy alternatives at competitive prices. An increasing portion of the food market is being shifted toward organic, natural, additive-free, and whole foods. Walmart could even create smaller, focused stores that focused solely on delivering such goods to consumers.
5. Go smaller. For years, Walmart focused on growing stores that were larger and larger in size. A significant portion of shoppers find that scale of shopping overwhelming and have turned back to smaller, more personable stores for their shopping needs—even willing to pay more not to have to navigate a behemoth complex.
6. Freshen up home offerings. There are other similar retailers which offer cuter, more colorful, and creative products to decorate the home. Once inside shoppers' homes, those stores become part of the living space, making shoppers equate comfort with the store who provided that home décor.
7. Make stores more community-focused. Walmart approaches shopping as a one-size-fits-all approach. You can go in pretty much any Walmart in America and find the same products. Yet shoppers in Seattle have distinctly different needs than those in Miami. Perhaps a shopping experience that is a bit more tailored to the needs of a community would attract more customers.
8. Offer products that reflect the needs of a more diverse customer base.
9. Be more transparent about labor practices and efforts to provide fair wages to those who have labored to create the products Walmart sells. There have been numerous infamous stories about the low wages and living conditions of those employed to create garments which are sold by Walmart. Walmart has to convince the public that it is truly concerned about fair trade practices.
10. Sell American products. Walmart is often critiqued for forcing small businesses in communities to close. Using the talents of a community to showcase the products made by local vendors could provide a much-needed solution to this issue.