Is Wal-Mart venturing into stand up comedy? The Chief Executive Officer of Wal-Mart stores, Lee Scott, admitted to the BBC in a recent interview that his company sometimes screws up. “It is a fact that there are times when we do not do the right thing as individuals, and those exceptions create issues for this company,” Scott said. “We as a company have continued to work on that, and I think ultimately we will be a better company because we’ve tightened up on the amount of exceptions that do exist,” he said. Scott also admitted that his company has opponents at the local level. “Can you go to any community and find somebody who’s been adversely impacted by a large retailer that’s come to town? I bet you can,” Scott said. “But on the other hand, in each of those communities you can find people who have grown their businesses. There is no evidence that we in fact kill off companies.” Scott also boasted about Wal-Mart wages. “We hire people at what we believe are competitive rates, actually higher rates than what the competition has,” he said. Scott indicated that Wal-Mart is basically taking unskilled workers and teaching them how to work. “Many of these jobs are in fact jobs that are people’s entry into the workforce. Somebody who’s unskilled, they have to go somewhere to learn how to work.” Maybe that’s why the company has so many screw ups — because everybody’s just learning what to do.
There appears to be no truth to the rumor that Lee Scott has signed on to do a routine on the new TV show “Last Comedian Standing.” Wal-Mart could sponsor its own show, “Last Retailer Standing.” Scott’s comments that there is no evidence that “we in fact kill off companies” would make a great comedy schtick. He could perform it in empty Ames, Montgomery Wards, or Kmart buildings across the nation. There are enough of those venues that Scott would have no shortage of dates.