Good Week/Bad Week in Branding

Good Week: Walmart – The world’s largest retailer’s CEO announced that the chain will reinstate its “greeters” program, creating 9,000 new hourly positions for employees specially trained in welcoming customers, answering questions and checking receipts (to curtail shoplifting). No confirmation yet on the rumors of wild celebration at the headquarters of AARP, where Walmart’s move is referred to as the “Senior Citizen Employment Relief Act of 2016.”

Bad Week: Sports AuthorityAfter declaring bankruptcy back in March, the chain is taking a defiant stance to the notion of liquidation, instead announcing that it will continue to pursue a buyer for its 450-plus locations. Meanwhile, an asset auction is scheduled for May 16, as is an auction of leases for more than 140 stores the chain will abandon.  When asked to comment on the rising fortunes of their more-successful competitors, Sports Authority leadership simply said: “Dicks.”

Worse Week: Aeropostale – The cool-clothes-for-teens chain is the latest victim of fickle tastes and rapidly changing trends, filing for bankruptcy and seeking to close 154 of its 800-plus locations. While this is rough news for the under-20 crowd, adults will take consolation in the news that shopping malls across America will be replacing soon-to-be-vacant Aeropostale stores with other youth-targeted establishments where they’ll find equally repulsive music, merchandise and staff.