Somewhere in Nebraska, Matt is getting wild with the Fanta.
Chances are, you will never visit the Walmart Neighborhood Market located on Saddle Creek Road in Omaha, Nebraska. In fact, many Walmart shoppers have never stepped foot inside of a Neighborhood Market at all. As of January 31, there were just 698 of the grocery-centric markets out of 5,355 Walmart locations in the U.S. So what makes the Saddle Creek location special? According to the internet, it all comes down to one man — a legendary figure named Matt.
And yes, Matt has been known “to get wild with the Fanta.”
Matt’s getting wild with Fanta, all flavors now 2 for $2. #region61 #491rocks
In the early days of his internet fame, some noted that “Matt from Walmart” looks vaguely similar to Adam Driver’s portrayal of Kylo Ren as “Matt, Radar Technician,” in Undercover Boss: Starkiller Base — a Saturday Night Live sketch from 2016. Others pointed out that “getting wild” is really just a guy standing in front of an endcap. For whatever reason, thousands of comments, and a few hundred bottles of Fanta later, Matt is rocketing to stardom. Some believe he may even hold the key to defeating Thanos.
And if Walmart feels emboldened enough to publish a post that doesn’t feature Matt? His fans are not pleased.
Shay is recommending you pick up some Frosted Mini Wheats on your next shopping trip. #region61 #491rocks
Shay just wanted to share her love of Frosted Mini Wheats, and how is she being repaid? With dozens of comments demanding Matt!
If Walmart posts a great deal on baby products, Matt caused every pregnancy in Omaha. If Rita wants to show you her freshly-stocked endcap of Great Value Mac & Cheese, the fans demand “Matt and Cheese.” Walmart offers associates a 401 (k) plan? Matt’s saving for retirement. If Dane has a deal on Peanut Butter Cap n’ Crunch? “This guy sucks, bring back Matt!” Walmart’s offering paid maternity leave? Where’s Matt?
And if hangers are on sale 2 for $2? Matt is at it again…
Matt is at it again, 18 pack hangers now 2 for $2. #region61 #491rocks
Tonight, Matt made his television debut, the subject of an interview by Jenna Liston of Fox 42 in Omaha. He doesn’t know why his post about Fanta caught on, and notes that he’s not even on social media himself. His primary concern is keeping the store looking good.
One more hour until you meet Matt from Walmart…If you could ask him one question, what would it be?
Posted by Fox 42 KPTM on Thursday, March 28, 2019
What’s special about Matt is that he’s not particularly special at all — he appears to be a normal guy, doing normal work that many can relate to. His viral success is further proof that you never know what’s going to catch on. It’s the type of PR gold that social media teams at companies like Walmart hope to strike, and seldom do.
Wisely, Walmart’s corporate office in Bentonville, Arkansas, has not stepped in to control or stifle the unusually high engagement of their Omaha Market. In fact, if you scroll back far enough, you’ll even notice a few response comments that come directly from the main Walmart Facebook profile — the one with more than 34 million followers.
Doug McMillon, Walmart president and chief executive officer, even got in on the action. “Not all heroes wear capes,” he says.
Look beyond Matt, and you’ll see social media done right. A store that’s highlighting the hard work of its associates and the teamwork within. Other associates also have their fans, and a few have been calling for the return of someone named “Charles,” but in the end, Matt rules.
Can other Walmart locations duplicate Matt’s success? Magic 8 Ball says “outlook unclear,” and fans of the “real” Matt are already calling out locations such as the one in Copperas Cove, Texas for breaking out impostors to sell product.
Matt’s gone CLEARANCE crazy on detergent this morning! Stop in by our grocery self checkout for these bargains while supplies last.
There’s even local competition across town in Omaha. The Walmart Supercenter on West Maple Road is inviting guests to “get beefy with Antonio.” Unfortunately for Tony, even his shoppers prefer Matt.
Get beefy with Antonio! Chuck pot roast starting at $5.47 per pound.
Thing is, when I look Matt’s photos and see the smiling young man in the green vest, I remember a time long ago. It was the era of the O.G. Walmart badass — slinging goods with low prices, and stackin’ ’em high to watch ’em fly. And while Matt’s fans are making some bold claims about how Nebraska’s leading merchant is doing with the ladies, I do know that this particular legend from the past was legit in that department. In fact, he met his wife while working at Walmart.
I know this, because more than 20 years later, I’m married to her.
Have we entered the era of the retail celebrity? Share your thoughts on Matt from Walmart and let us know!