With its flagship store, Wal-Marts Richmond is one of the few big retailers in the nation to be able to offer a range of products, including clothing and household items, as well as a wide range of other products and services.
The store offers more than 5,000 products, ranging from diapers to shampoo, but the most notable product is a new baby powder.
Wal-mart, which has been trying to shift away from its old, traditional product mix, has partnered with the local food pantry to provide baby powder to local families, said Alisa Williams, a Wal-marts spokesperson.
Walmart said it plans to add the baby powder as a regular feature at other locations in the store.
Williams said the store has already seen an uptick in baby visits, which have increased by about half since the store opened last year.
“The baby powder is a big draw for our clients, and the store really feels like home,” Williams said.
“We really appreciate the people who come here and help us out, especially with the baby.”
The store’s baby powder was launched this year in conjunction with the food pantries.
The food pantories are serving about 300 families a day, Williams said, adding that Wal–mart will expand its baby powder distribution to the food bank as well.
“If you come here, it’s a big relief,” said Karen Lacey, who runs a food bank in Richmond.
“You know, if you’ve got to go and get some food, it can really add to your stress levels.
It can really make you hungry.”
But not everyone is as happy about Wal-Mars baby powder, which some have been skeptical about.
A few weeks ago, a Richmond mom complained that Walmarts baby powder didn’t taste as good as other brands, and she felt that WalMart had turned her into a “bad girl” for not having enough baby powder for her children.
Walmamas parent, Lisa Harkins, said that Walmart and its baby products are all about family.
“There’s no better time to give them to a family member, especially when they’re so young,” she said.
But Lacey said she was disappointed that WalMarts baby product doesn’t include more affordable baby products like formula or formula in a container, as some other brands do.
“That’s why I feel so strongly that Walmans baby products have been great for us,” she told the News-Leader.
Lacey also said that while Walmalls baby powder does not contain preservatives, she and her husband were disappointed that they couldn’t get their own.
“I’m glad that the Wal- mart brand has stepped up,” she added.
“Wal-mart has been doing a great job in supporting local families with their families.”