In the electronics department of his local Walmart in New York state, Joseph made an amazing discovery in the field of retail archaeology. No one was interested in these ten 256 MB flash drives, so they’ve languished. No markdowns, no clearance: they’ll remain on the shelf, with a price tag of $28.83. A cashier told Joseph, “You’ll be bringing your kids in here some day, and these will still be here.” Something to look forward to.
I was browsing the electronics section of a [New York] Wal-Mart, when I made my way to the flash storage. On the bottom shelf was a stack of about 10 of these flash drives with an absurd looking price of $28.83. Upon closer inspection it became clear that not only due to it’s off brand nature, small capacity and the fact that it touts that it is “like having 176 floppy disks on your key chain” there was a good chance these drives have been here for some time.
I brought the drive to the employee working the register in that department and asked him to price check the item as I thought I might be hallucinating. He assured me that I wasn’t and explained that the reason they are priced so high is because the manufacturer will not let them lower the price (which surprised me given the fact that it’s Wal-Mart). Since they couldn’t mark them down, they were perfectly content to let them sit there until the end of time.
The cashier told me outright, “You’ll be bringing your kids in here some day, and these will still be here.” We had a good laugh about it, and he told me I should probably take a picture and share it with my friends, which I did and now I’m sharing it with The Consumerist.
Does Wal-Mart management know or care that they have dead merchandise in their store?
We thought Walmart had the best inventory control systems in the world. Perhaps not. After all, other readers and amateur retail archaeologists have sent us gems of obsolescence like these: