Wal-Mart Will Keep Paula Deen Items Stocked Through End of Year

by Chuck Bartels, The Associated Press  on Thursday, Sep. 26, 2013 7:45 am  

Paula Deen (Photo by Shutterstock)

LITTLE ROCK — Despite Wal-Mart's July announcement that it ended its relationship with Paula Deen, the world's largest retailer said Wednesday that it expects to keep her branded cookware on the shelves through the end of the year.

Wal-Mart said that after dumping Deen, it still had some of her products in the supply pipeline. That will remain the case for three more months as the company works through the stock, Wal-Mart spokeswoman Danit Marquardt said Wednesday. At least some of the items are going at clearance prices.

The Bentonville company was among numerous companies that severed ties with Deen after the Southern celebrity chef acknowledged that she'd used racial slurs. The Food Network decided to not renew Deen's show, meat maker Smithfield Foods Inc. dropped her as a spokeswoman and her name was removed from buffet restaurants at four casinos owned by Caesar's.

Novo Nordisk also canceled an agreement that had Deen promoting the pharmaceutical company's diabetes drug, giving tips on food preparation and working with doctors. Deen is diabetic.

Target Corp. and Home Depot Inc. also dropped her cookware and kitchen products.

Wal-Mart still had a section on its website devoted to Deen's products, and Target's site still stocked Deen's cookbooks, as of Wednesday.

Deen is pushing forward with her business. Her website shows she has appearances scheduled and offers numerous products for sale, though five of the six items listed as "best sellers" are marked down. A "Paula Deen Southern rooster 16-piece Dinnerware Set" is selling for $59.95, more than half off the list price of $140.

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