What’s Wal-Mart’s secret? It’s Christmastime in America, and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the largest seller of guns in the country, is ready for any Santa list. At the Las Vegas store, a middle-aged woman talks with a cashier to clear her background check and purchase a child-sized Crickett 22 long rifle, which comes in black and pink for $114 in a box emblazoned: “My First Rifle.” In her cart is a blowup camouflage-clad Santa Claus.
For Wal-Mart, guns — and especially ammo — are just good business. After years of mass shootings in America culminating in the San Bernardino killings, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company has carefully steered clear of the gun-control debate. When firearms are selling well, Wal-Mart tries to sell more. When they aren’t, it replaces them with other merchandise. No matter what, the retailer focuses on giving customers what they want.