Bentonville, Ark. (July 18, 2007) – Just 48 hours ahead of what is arguably the most anticipated book launch in history, Wal-Mart today revealed surprising research. Despite the hype over the ending, most Americans are planning to keep their curiosity in check.
Research carried out in the past few days shows that:
• We remain a nation of optimists. Americans planning to buy the book this weekend overwhelmingly (58% to 15%) think Harry lives. Non purchasers are less sure whether Harry lives.
• Nearly 9 of ten (89%) intended purchasers of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will show remarkable discipline and say they’ll read straight through to the end rather than skip to the final pages to find out what happens.
• The interest in the book will be phenomenal. 13% of Americans 16 and older - around 28 million people - say they plan to purchase the book this weekend. This is roughly equivalent to everyone in the states of New York (pop. 18,976,457) and Michigan (pop. 9,938,444).
Wal-Mart has asked more than a million associates and readers to join a pledge that once Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is released at 12:01 a.m., July 21, the secret of who dies will not be discussed at registers, in case a customer does not yet know. Nearly 17,000 people have taken this vow of silence online at www.makethepledge.net.
To continue the campaign of secrecy, over 50,000 ear plugs are being handed out Friday by Wal-Mart stores where the retailer predicts the largest book sales will happen, giving fans a little assistance in finding a quiet corner.
2,900 Midnight Parties, Coast to Coast
More than 2,900 Wal-Mart stores will celebrate the midnight July 21 sales release with their own Harry Potter party. Fans who come to participating stores will be sorted into Hogwarts’ houses and given a color-coded wristband that ensures their place in line for the book. Without being bound to a line, customers will be able to enjoy storewide entertainment while waiting for the clock to strike midnight. Midnight party locations can be found on www.walmart.com.
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.
* On behalf of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., StrategyOne conducted a nationally representative telephone survey of Americans 16 and older on July 17, 2007. The survey results have a margin of error of + or - 3.5 percent in 95 out of 100 cases.