While Walmart is a symbol of economic and market success, it is also seen as a risky stock by a number of responsible investors. That paradox is the result of a series of lawsuits on gender-based and trade-union discrimination issues and the regular tabling of resolutions concerning poor labour conditions, which are taking a toll on the company’s reputation – and its value. As many as 8% of Walmart customers have stopped shopping at the chain owing to its poor reputation, and litigation has already cost the brand over one billion dollars.
To ward off the many-fronted attack, Walmart adapts its strategy to the subject in hand. It has taken corrective measures on diversity and the respect of human rights in the subcontracting chain, and addresses these issues in its external communication. Regarding anti-union practices and working conditions in the United States, Walmart denies the charges made against it and counter-attacks with public relations and communication campaigns aimed at improving its image.