16 Mar 2004 Kudos to Wal-Mart
NCPPR executive director David Almasi gives a positive update on the fight to keep questionable material from kids:
A few months ago, I wrote a commentary on how easy it is for children to anonymously buy illicit DVDs such as those from the “Girls Gone Wild” series through Internet web sites. At the time, I credited Wal-Mart – one of the larger sellers of DVDs and CDs – for not being a part of this problem. I’m happy, by way of embarrassment, to say they are equally as diligent at their brick-and-mortar stores.
I hate shopping at Wal-Mart, but it’s the place to go on a weekend when you need a bird feeder and a headlight lamp. As it is also a place with impulse buys everywhere, I found myself fishing through the big box of $5.50 DVDs. One reason in particular I dislike Wal-Mart is the check-out area is never big enough to accommodate the ever-present long lines. You can imagine my thrill to discover my local store now has self-serve check-out. Since I had just a few items and there was no wait at the time, I anticipated a speedy exit. Not so.
I had picked out an R-rated DVD. Wal-Mart has instituted a safeguard at the self-serve check-out that requires the employee overseeing the area to verify the age of the purchaser. Unfortunately for the line growing behind me, that employee was AWOL.
To my comfort, the customer immediately behind me was a regular and not mad. As I slinked out with my purchases, I was nonetheless thankful that Wal-Mart is keeping up its commitment to its shoppers and the community by not turning a blind eye to whom it sells its wares. In the case of DVDs, they are rated for a reason. Just as a theater box office has the duty to turn away underage customers from R-rated films, Wal-Mart is doing it’s part by making sure the same policy is administered when the film is available for home viewing. Good job!