It's another small step back for Wal-Mart
Kids today! Who could've imagined that image-conscious teens wouldn't want to hang out on a restrictive, whitewashed MySpace wannabe revolving around Wal-Mart product wish lists?
The company launched the site two months ago, hoping to form a sticky connection with its younger patrons just as back-to-school shopping season was kicking up. The experiment obviously didn't pan out. Unfortunately, Wal-Mart couldn't get the launch right, and it has also botched the closure. It's not only shutting out those who wasted their time on registering for the site; it's also making the boneheaded move of redirecting traffic to its Walmart.com catch-all landing page.
What's the deal, Wal-Mart? You couldn't have redirected the traffic to a more fitting category page like back-to-school products, the CD store, or some of those "hottest fashions" you claim to stock?
You can't blame Wal-Mart for trying. You also shouldn't be surprised at Wal-Mart for failing. It tried to make its mark as an Internet access provider. It now hands that job over to Time Warner's
Nobody really gave Wal-Mart much of a chance here. Even Target
Besides, isn't drawing an online crowd overrated? The edgy Delia's
Wal-Mart could have gone about this in so many different ways. It should have launched a stand-alone site with very loose corporate affiliations instead of a Walmart.com subdomain. It even could have gone the self-effacing route by having folks pick out Wal-Mart garb that they would never be caught dead wearing, perhaps inspiring the discovery of something cool.
In the end, Wal-Mart took itself too seriously. Again. And it failed online. Again.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has probably spent more at Wal-Mart's online store than at its offline empire in recent years. He does own shares in Netflix. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. T he Fool has a disclosure policy.