Price-Cut on Black Barbies at Wal-Mart Causes Outrage

Activists and customers complain after prices are slashed on black Barbies but not white ones in Wal-Mart.

Price-Cut on Black Barbies at Wal-Mart Causes Outrage

Activists and customers complain after prices are slashed on black Barbies but not white ones in Wal-Mart.

-Faye Brennan

Barbies in Wal-Mart

Like any store would do, if an item were not selling, store managers would lower the price to make the item more attractive to customers. But in this case, cutting prices on Barbie dolls is a much more loaded and controversial issue.

In Wal-Mart, there are two versions of the Ballerina Barbie – one black and one white. The white version retails for $5.93, but recently, the price on the black Barbie was cut to $3. The lowering in price has stirred up anger in customers. 

Read In Defense of Barbie

One activist in Harlem said the price-cut “can have collateral damage,” while the executive director of Northside Center for Child Development also in Harlem, Thelma Dye, said the “implication of lowering the price is that it’s devaluing the black doll.”

“Pricing like items differently is a part of inventory management in retailing,” said a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart. “Both are great dolls.”

Some say Wal-Mart should’ve decreased the price on both the black and white dolls instead of pricing them differently, since the difference in price sends the message that white Barbies are somehow better than black Barbies. (Newser)

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