Two of today’s WCIA battles were dominated by household names, proving that being the biggest doesn’t mean you’re the best. Another showdown featured companies that aren’t necessarily on the tip of everyones’ tongues, but are no less hated than the big brand names.
WALMART VS. CVS CAREMARK
This one wasn’t even close. Even though CVS is the country’s second-largest drugstore chain and operator of one of the nation’s biggest pharmacy benefits programs, it just didn’t really stand a chance against the mass of unhappy consumers, many of whom shop at Walmart but only because they feel they don’t have many other options. In the tournament’s second-largest drubbing thus far (only to Comcast’s monster thumping of Yahoo), Walmart coasted to an 81.9% victory.
Up next for Walmart is the surprise winner of Day One, fellow reviled retailer Abercrombie & Fitch, which earlier pulled off an upset defeat of Delta Air Lines.
KOCH INDUSTRIES VS. SALLIE MAE
Sallie Mae handles (and occasionally screws up) a good chunk of the more than $1 trillion in student loans that are out there. But apparently that wasn’t enough to hold off Kansas-based Koch Industries, which has its hands in everything from cattle to fertilizer to carpet fibers to asphalt to pipelines to… Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, and Quilted Northern toilet paper. It’s one of those companies that not everyone knows, but whose products touch just about everything we do. In the tightest contest of the tournament thus far (granted, there are 10 more bouts to go in Round One alone), Koch eked out a 58% win over Sallie Mae.
The true test of Koch will come in the next round, when it faces either the two-time reigning WCIA champ EA or potential dark horse contender Time Warner Cable.
TARGET VS. McDONALD’S
The second day of WCIA competition came to an end with another tight contest featuring two big brands that would probably rather they weren’t in the news as often as they have been of late. Some had predicted that the massive hack of Target’s in-store payment system would carry the retailer to at least the third round. Perhaps the fact that the breach has had, relative to the sheer number of people whose info was stolen, resulted in few negatively affected consumers turned some votes toward McDonald’s, which often ranks low on food quality surveys, isn’t exactly known for its customer service, and has been widely criticized for the way it allows franchisees to deal with employees’ paychecks. McDonald’s detractors put some special sauce on their voting buttons and pushed the fast food giant to a 58.4% win over the beleaguered Target.
McDonald’s had better get greased up it it wants a shot of repeating this success in its upcoming Round Two showdown against Chase, which crashed GM’s car in an earlier contest.