Walmart Customer Service desk, location showing where local newspapers appeared after the Advertiser’s story questioning store manager as to why the local newspapers will no longer be sold and by inference with the physical removal of the newsstand shelving unit located at front of the checkouts. (Photo by Jayna Smith)

Calais Walmart Places Local Newspapers at Customer Service Desk

 

Jayna Smith
[email protected]

After The Calais Advertiser shared last week the news of the Calais Walmart discontinuing the sale of this publication, without any information provided from the local store manager, the retail giant’s media relations contacted the newspaper.

The news of the discontinuing of the sale of local publications was brought to the Advertiser’s distributor’s attention by store manager Ronnie McLain.  
Editor and publisher Pierre Little, in a phone call to McLain, requested information surrounding McLain’s decision to remove the multiple-shelf newsstand from the store.  McLain would not provide any details on the matter, only instructing Little to call the corporate office in Arkansas.

Tyler Thomason from Walmart media relations reached out to Little and said, “Local newspapers will still be available in the store, but at the customer service desk.”

The Calais Advertiser has been sold in the Walmart store for years, always placed on a newsstand shelving unit near the entrance or near the front of the registers.  

According to Little, the new location will prevent many readers from acquiring their hometown news easily and conveniently.  “This change in location of the papers for sale, effectively, is constructive removal because if the papers are located after the point of sale cashier, shoppers have already paid for their items and are then leaving the store.  They typically will not go to customer service to then again go through a point of sale cashier a second time. 

So, this decision will hurt local newspapers and this unfortunate decision does not support the local newsroom or local community newspapers. We hope this decision can be revisited and we can return to a shelved newsstand in front of checkouts, a win/win for Walmart and loyal readers.”

The Calais Walmart multiple-shelf newsstand, when located at the entrance or near the registers just prior to checkout, has been one of the most-accessed stands by local readers; it is always the largest sold copy newsstand the Advertiser has had and a testimony of what a vital link the newspaper is to residents in the community at the Calais Walmart.

 

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