Retail giant Wal-Mart unveiled plans Thursday to add the sale and distribution of small, underdeveloped countries to its product line, a move hailed by investors as both “brilliant” and “utterly inevitable.”
The bold initiative proposed by the retail chain will feature competitive pricing on multiple countries and provinces, predominantly in Africa and southeast Asia, with planned expansion into Eastern Europe slated for the summer of 2014.
“Wal-Mart’s goal has always been to be a one-stop shop for all consumers, and the option for our shoppers to purchase and manage actual semi-functioning countries blazes an exciting path forward,” said Wal-Mart’s director of international commerce James Meredith. “Our market research clearly indicates that our buyers will not only welcome the opportunity to branch into this dynamic new field of retail, but potentially bring peace and stability to some of the more troubled regions of our world.”
While the initial array of countries available for purchase is relatively small, comprised mainly of smaller agrarian states like Burundi, Gambia and Malawi, the retail superstore has already set its sights on larger European countries such as Moldavia and Latvia. All sales packages will include working master keys to all government buildings, complete access and control over agricultural and mineral resources, and the option to have a towering statue of their likeness erected in the country’s capital city.
All country purchases will also include a customized orientation package with tips, tricks and international currency exchange rates, tentatively entitled, “You Know You’re a Third-World Dictator When…”, penned by comedian Jeff Foxworthy in collaboration with former US Secretary of State James Baker.
Critics of the plan have pointed to the risk of civil unrest or economic collapse as a result of a purchase, a charge Meredith is quick to dismiss. “Ehh. Most of these countries are f*cked anyway,” he confided to reporters during Thursday’s press conference. “What these countries need is an injection of hope and energy, something Walmart’s shoppers are happy to provide via the comforting familiarity of good old, home-grown American consumerism.”
Consumer response was generally positive, with most polled buyers expressing enthusiasm for the new product line, especially with the holidays fast approaching. “I was climbin’ up the walls trying to figure out what to get my hubby Derek,” gushed Wendy Ridder, an unemployed administrative assistant from Topeka, KS. “He’s always playing that XBox and complaining that he’s bored. Maybe once he learns how to feed a malnourished population of millions, he can figure out how to get his butt down to the QuikMart to get the kids some breakfast bars once in a while so I don’t have to keep feeding them Chef Boyardee morning noon and night, know what I mean?”
Other consumers were somewhat wary of the new program. “What do I need with a ‘Sri Lanka’, whatever that is?” asked Jessica Sanderson of Jackson, MS. “I got two of them ‘yoga pads’ last Christmas, I don’t need another one.”