Fans to be “sorted into houses” at midnight store events
Bentonville, Ark. (June 21, 2007) – For one of the most anticipated book arrivals in history, Wal-Mart today announced plans to celebrate the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows with midnight sales events and a special pledge to all Harry Potter fans. From Los Angeles to London, Montreal to Manchester, San Juan to San Antonio, more than 1 million Wal-Mart associates will be invited to make a special pledge to keep mum about the book’s ending after its July 21, 12:01 a.m. release. The pledge is in direct response to a request by JK Rowling to help keep the final tale a special discovery for all readers.
Beginning July 10, Wal-Mart associates across the world will take, sign and post the pledge in stores. As early as today, customers can join the crusade and emphasize the importance of not spoiling the end for others, by going to www.makethepledge.net and make their personal pledge.
Storewide Events in the U.S.
For muggles in search of events for the first release, 24-hour Wal-Mart stores across the U.S. (more than 2,900 stores) will host activities the evening of July 20. Leading up to the book’s midnight release, store events nationwide will include:
• Arriving fans “sorted” into Hogwarts’ houses of Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, or Hufflepuff with color bands to ensure their place in line for the book;*
• Trivia challenge and giveaways held throughout the evening;
• Customers and associates dressed in Harry Potter character attire, and in some locations awards given for best costume;
• Additional engaging entertainment throughout the store, including special features broadcast on Wal-Mart TV.
“Harry Potter book release weekends are very exciting for fans and we expect the July 20 weekend to make literary history,” said Andy Barron, senior vice president and general merchandise manager. “We are committed to the best price and plenty of copies, and want to create a purchase experience our customers will enjoy and remember that weekend.”
In addition to Wal-Mart stores across the U.S., Wal-Mart’s stores in Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico and ASDA stores in the United Kingdom will engage associates in taking the pledge to safeguard the book’s ending.
Wal-Mart U.S. stores will announce more activities and special product packages closer to the book’s launch date July 21. Customers can now see and take the pledge online at www.makethepledge.net, and it will be posted in stores at the books and stationery area in July.
Wal-Mart’s Pledge to Harry Potter Fans
There’s plenty of excitement brewing,
As the final chapter draws near;
But hearing the story’s end from others,
Is what magicals and muggles all fear;
So at Wal-Mart worldwide we’ve decided,
To make a pledge to our customers that’s clear,
We’ll keep silent on what we discover July 21,
So you buy without fear of reveal here.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, millions of customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America or log on to its online store at www.walmart.com. The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $270 million to local communities in the United States. To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmartstores.com, or www.walmartfoundation.org.
* Harry Potter wristband ensures a place in line, but does not guarantee book availability. Purchase(s) can be made while supplies last.