Wal-Mart may be its own worst enemy
It's blaming a weak outlook on consumers cutting back. But then why are so many of its retailing rivals doing just fine?
When the U.S. economy started to tank, the Bentonville, Ark., company's low prices attracted cash-strapped consumers. But now, as the economy continues to rebound, consumers may be less worried about prices and more attuned to other aspects of their shopping experience such as customer service, which has never been a forte of Wal-Mart.
According to Wal-Mart, many people continue to struggle because of the rise in the payroll tax and delays in getting tax refunds from the IRS.
Wal-Mart's gloomy outlook confirms the sentiment echoed in internal memos recently leaked to Bloomberg News about the chain's poor performance in February. The company's forecast for first-quarter earnings was below Wall Street expectations, but the shares are trading up so far today. Raising its dividend by 18%, to $1.88 annually, is offsetting some worries about Wal-Mart's gloomy forecast.
Wal-Mart expects comparable sales to be flat in the current quarter as uncertainty about the economy continues to weigh on it. The Associated Press reported today that the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose in the most recent week. Consumer confidence also declined in January.
These macroeconomic forces affect all retailers, but many are doing better than Wal-Mart.
Its chief rival Target (TGT) recently reported a better-than-expected 3.1% gain in January sales in stores opened at last a year. Comparable sales at TJX (TJX) rose 3% during the same time, exceeding the expectations of the parent company of TJ Maxx, Marshall's and Home Goods. Macy's (M), an up-market department store chain, recently reported that January same-store sales rose a better-than-expected 11.7%. (Wal-Mart doesn't report monthly sales.)
If Wal-Mart continues to struggle, investors may find it hard to believe that the fault lies entirely with penny-pinching consumers.
Jonathan Berr is long Target. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.
Perhaps the American people are getting tired of a company that has the preponderance of it's goods made in Communist China.
How soon we forget we fought the Communist Chinese vicariously in the Korean conflict and the Vietnam war in the failed attempt to thwart communism but this company, Wal-China-Mart propagates communism.
How endearing to hire a Chinese worker over an American worker for unbridled corporate avarice.
Shop at Walmart and help support communism.
I'm retired and have been working for Wal-Mart for about one year part time.
Here's MY take on the company and shoppers. First the shoppers. The majority of the folks are wonderful people looking for a bargain. Now the rest are just plain slobs that want something for nothing, They come in dressed in their best clothes, women have their gold rings, ear-rings, piercing , tan bodies, hair done up nice and a buggy full of food and other stuff. Once I ring them out on the average of at least one hundred bucks, the whip out their FOOD STAMPS to pay for their FREE food and then put the remaining balance on a credit card!!!! Get a ****ing job you scum bags, quit sucking off the system ya scum bag welfare ****s. People OPEN packages to see what's inside , duh , just look at the picture you idiot. Now once its open, no -one wants it cuz it WAS OPENED!!!! ****s....Things are marked down and people want more of a mark down.... Ya cheap prick.... if ya don't want to pay the marked down price, just don't buy it!!! Theft runs amuck their... most from Health and beauty products... Once again, if ya cant afford it, don't steal it, get a f----- job... The management had NO A CLUE as to how to run a store... They couldn't manage their out of a paper bag, let alone manage a store. Understaffed and under paid, I do agree they should hire and schedule more people but their pay is tied to profit and saving money. They could care less about how long ya have to wait in line... More savings from employee staffing is more pay for the managers. Also today's work force is terrible. The kids have NO work ethic. They are constantly on their phones, ipad and are tweeting and not paying attention to their work. Lazy, just lazy... They call of all the time, that's one reason there is no one to assist you in the store....
This is about the 3rd negitive article I`ve read about Wal-mart in a week.Their stock is down about
1%.The truth is they make billions and their competitors are scared to death of them.when
they do get fined a billion it`s like us getting fined $1 and life goes on.
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