Jan 29 2009
State Sting Suspends Walmart Cigarette Sales
Thursday, 29 January 2009

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            The Kodiak Walmart has had its license to sell tobacco suspended for about a month, because it illegally sold tobacco to a minor. As a result, Walmart plans to implement an I.D.-all policy statewide for all tobacco and alcohol sales, and retrain Walmart employees at the Kodiak store.


            Jennifer Spall, Walmart's public affairs officer for Alaska, said the Kodiak incident was a result of human error on the part of a Walmart cashier.

--          (Walmart 1     22 sec.             "Routinely, state agencies ... which was the problem.")

            Kodiak resident and Walmart shopper Ashley McClusky, who is not a smoker, said she witnessed tobacco products being pulled off of shelves when she was shopping Monday morning.

--          (Walmart 2     19 sec.             "I just went to Walmart ... not ask what was going on.")

            Spall said employees at Walmart will be retrained in the proper handling of tobacco sales, and that the chain plans to implement a statewide policy of checking I.D.'s for anyone wishing to purchase tobacco products, similar to the store's policies on liquor purchases in Anchorage.

--          (Walmart 3     28 sec.             "We have implemented ... and do an I.D. all.")

            Spall apologized on behalf of Walmart for the incident and any inconvenience the suspension of tobacco sales may cause customers.

--          (Walmart 4     11 sec.             "We regret the error ... new policy, which is I.D. all.")

According to Spall, Walmart's new statewide I.D.-all policy for the purchase of tobacco and alcohol will take effect February 1st, and the Kodiak store will be able to resume tobacco sales on March 1st. The Kodiak Walmart does not sell alcohol.