This is a weird choice: Walmart will reportedly sell copies of MMA fighter Ronda Rousey’s autobiography My Fight/Your Fight, but they won’t display them in the store. Customers can only buy the book from a Walmart if they order it online and then pick it up at the store. A report from the New York Post claims it’s because the book is “too violent.”
Page Six’s Richard Johnson, who refers to Rousey as a “cage-fighting cutie” (the Post loves both alliteration and making me vomit in my mouth) reported incorrectly on Friday that Walmart wouldn’t sell the book at all “on the grounds that [Rousey is] too violent.” That would be pretty silly, as the Daily Kos’s Shaun King pointed out, given that Walmart happily sells books like American Sniper, which features a great deal of killin’, as well as a generous variety of guns, ammo, and this stellar cutlass.
Walmart spokesperson Danit Marquadt tells us that’s not correct, that Walmart has been “preparing for the release” of Rousey’s book since September 2014, and that they’re pre-selling it online now. (That’s true: it’s right here.) She told TMZ virtually the same thing.
“When the book is officially released on May 12, customers interested in purchasing it can use the ‘site to store’ feature and pick it up at a local store, “ Marquadt added.
I asked if the book’s content had anything to do with Walmart’s decision to sell this book in this way. Marquadt responded: “There’s a variety of factors that we look at when determining what items to offer our customers. At this point we’ve chosen to offer this particular title to our customers online. We’ll continue to watch how customers respond.” She added that Walmart’s website sells millions of items versus the 150,000 sold in an average Walmart Supercenter.
I asked again if the book’s content was one of those deciding factors; at this point, Marquadt could presumably have said “No,” or “I don’t know” or “We’re saving space for more in-demand titles” or something. Instead, she told me: “I’ve shared with you what I have to share. In terms of the factors that we look at, there are a lot of different factors that we look at when determining what items to offer our customers.” This information—and not one iota more—was all repeated in an email that she sent to me after we hung up.
So there you have it. Walmart sells thousands of items in its stores, and millions online, and the “various factors” used to separate the two are known only to Walmart and to God. If you have any insider knowledge of what’ going on here, email us.
Photo via AP
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