Amazon Has Literally Gone Bananas

The e-tailer is getting fruity with a potassium-packed publicity stunt.

learn more about Kim Lachance Shandrow

By Kim Lachance Shandrow • Dec 4, 2015

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Amazon is handing out bananas for free in Seattle. Yes, you read that right.

Two days ago, the e-tailer set up a banana giveaway stand manned by Amazon employees outside the company's Emerald City headquarters. Exactly why is a riddle we're still trying to unpeel, though it reeks of a pretty peculiar publicity stunt.

Bright orange jacket-wearing "banistas" seated inside Amazon's canopied "Community Banana Stand" dole out the starchy fruit -- and random banana facts -- to anyone who meanders by, even if they don't work for Amazon, according to Geekwire.

Related: Amazon Prime Day Highlighted by Disappointment

A chalkboard near the stand, open daily from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. local time, reads:

A banana a day keeps the doctor away. Take one. Not just for Amazonians, but for anyone in the community. Enjoy!

Well, ok then. So what if there's no such thing as a free lunch at Amazon? At least it treats its Amazonians (and pedestrians in the immediate vicinity of its HQ) to fresh, healthy and cheap fruit on the fly.

Related: Publicity Stunt Du Jour: Spend the Night at IKEA Thanks to Airbnb

Amazon hopes the pop-up is here to stay. "Bananas are a great healthy snack with built-in compostable packaging," an Amazon spokesperson told Geekwire in a statement. "We hope the community likes it, and if they do, we'll keep doing it."

As you might recall, the company's reputation took a trouncing on the heels of a damning New York Times article earlier this year. Published on Aug. 15, the deep dive depicted Amazon as a ruthless workplace, as our own Nina Zipkin put it, "where frequent criticism, tears in cubicles and a constant refrain of "Amazon is where overachievers go to feel bad about themselves,' are part of the employee experience."

If this is just a publicity stunt to show the public Amazon isn't so hard on its workers after all, it seems a bit bananas to us.

Related: Amazon's Jeff Bezos Opens Line of Communication with Employees In Wake of Damning Article About Company Culture

Kim Lachance Shandrow

Former West Coast Editor

Kim Lachance Shandrow is the former West Coast editor at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She has also written for Government Technology magazine, LA Yoga magazine, the Lowell Sun newspaper, HealthCentral.com, PsychCentral.com and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Coop. Follow her on Twitter at @Lashandrow. You can also follow her on Facebook here

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