In case you haven't noticed, Wal-mart isn't just rolling back prices these days. It's also rolling out a new look in its consumer electronics department. Clearly the discount juggernaut is looking to pick up Circuit City's old business and go toe-to-toe with Best Buy.
An analyst from Barclays Capital, Ben Reitzes, is taking these observations one step further. In an interview with Apple Insider this week, Reitzes laid out his suspiscions that Wal-Mart is actually trying to woo Apple into selling Macs in its stores.
"We believe Wal-Mart is actively pitching Apple to carry more products. With Wal-Mart improving its retail displays, we believe that the mega-retailer could eventually earn the right to sell select Mac products without diluting Apple's brand."
- Ben Reitzes, Analyst, Barclays Capital
Fancying up the electronics department is perhaps a way to put Apple at ease that the Mac will somehow still look cool two aisles over from the scrapbooking notions and three aisles back from the Dora the Explorer bean bag chairs.
Reitzes would argue its a short walk given that Wally World is already selling iPods and iPhones; a shorter walk than it is now from the Pokemon sippy cups to the Beverly Lewis potboilers in fiction.
Well, if so, then it will be fun to watch this one play out. I can't think of a stranger corporate partnership, however.
It would be like:
- Perrier and Shasta hooking up.
- Paneras and Wonderbread co-branding together.
- Ethan Allen offering bricks and board bookcases.
- Wedgewood China and Chinnette dinnerware.
- Mercedes and Chrys- doh!
Last updated: May 20, 2009
RENEE ORICCHIO is a technology writer and former supervising news producer for CNN Financial News. She has been covering the computer industry since 1987. @oricchio