Wal-Mart Hits Facebook

Retail giant turns to social networking to court back-to-school college shoppers
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2007 6:57 PM CDT
Wal-Mart hopes to facilitate bonding experiences, as well as joint purchases, between incoming freshman via their new Facebook widget.   (Facebook.com screen-capture)
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(Newser) – Wal-Mart is launching a back-to-school marketing campaign using Facebook, Reuters reports. The megachain has created a "Roommate Style Match" Facebook group to give college students a chance to coordinate decorating before moving in—and then browse an array of "recommended" Wal-Mart goods, including many the retailer promotes as "earth-friendly."

One study estimates that incoming freshmen spend $1,112 on school-related gear before arriving, a trend Wal-Mart hopes to tap through the approximately 40% of Facebook users who attend college. "We realize that this is an audience that we need to be talking to, and that this is a channel we need to be on," says a spokeswoman.