Wal-Mart finally reverses US sales slump

The company says same-store numbers are on the mend after 9 straight quarters of decline.

By Kim Peterson Oct 12, 2011 3:07PM
Wal-Mart (WMT) executives can breathe a sigh of relief. U.S. sales are finally back on track after nine straight quarters of decline.

At the company's annual analyst meeting Wednesday, executives said same-store sales at U.S. stores have been rising for the past three months. Same-store sales make up about 98% of Wal-Mart's total U.S. sales.

The improvement is enough that Wal-Mart will likely show positive U.S. growth when it reports quarterly earnings next month.

Post continues below.
"From about May we have been on an upward trend," said Wal-Mart's U.S. president, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company plans to build on the momentum by upping its U.S. store openings to between 210 and 235 in the next fiscal year. Previously it had planned only 142 to 150.

Wal-Mart shares rose less than 1% Wednesday to close at $55.20. The stock has been stagnant all year, generally hovering between $51 and $56.

The retailer fell on tough times as the economy spiraled. Wal-Mart tried to woo shoppers who were trading down from Target (TGT) and other stores, but it ended up alienating some of its regular customers. Traffic fell as customers fled to dollar stores for shampoo and other household items.

Wal-Mart realized it needed to go smaller to compete. Now it says its new supercenters will average only 90,000 to 120,000 square feet, Reuters reports. The supercenters of the past were about 185,000 square feet.

The company is also focused on small to medium-sized stores and plans to open 80 to 100 next year. Most of those will be Neighborhood Markets, which are similar to traditional grocery stores.


Tags: TGTWMT
53Comments
Oct 12, 2011 5:27PM
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I don't like or need Wal-Mart. They have  screwed their employees and their customers and will continue to. Since "Sam" died they have gone all to hell in a hand basket. His philosophy was American made first. Now it's what ever cheap crap made in third world countries by underpaid and exploited workers.

 

I spend my money at "local" stores that have a majority of American made products. Especially groceries. I won't buy any foods that come from China. I won't poison my family to save a buck or two.

 

I don't care how bad the economy gets. I will not shop at Wal-Mart.

Oct 12, 2011 5:30PM
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My wife and I stopped going to Walmart about six months. We used to save money by going to Walmart. But then we started going to Target and Winco and we are saving a lot more money than we did at Walmart. We don't like Walmart like we used to.
Oct 12, 2011 5:20PM
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I have to say that we buy less from WalMart then we did a year ago. Especially with food items.

Their fresh meat is really not good, their sale items are OK. But if your not careful the regular priced stuff will make up for what you thought you saved. My wife does most of the shopping and Aldi Foods is her store of choice for many food items. Also many times local grocery ads typically beat Walmart on those advertised items.

Oct 12, 2011 5:43PM
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Walmart has the saddest employees I've ever seen.  Certainly don't live up to the ads where the nice old man says "If you don't have a smile I'll give you one of mine".  I always feel slimed when I go to Walmart (which isn't very often).  They really need to train their employees better (at least in New Mexico) and probably treat them better.  A happy employee is a good employee.  Most aren't even marginal.

 

Oct 12, 2011 5:59PM
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Now sell U S  made products that will help us all
Oct 12, 2011 5:09PM
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They are showing signs of life only becase they have raised all of their prices to as much as 50%. They are really no longer a "discount store" you can get better prices elswhere if you know how to look. I knew they couldn't keep the low pricing up forever.
Oct 12, 2011 6:23PM
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steelersrule -

We need to figure out how to compete with the world we now live in. It's not the 1960's anymore.

I have yet to hear much from Washington about this. Probably because no one wants to face the hard choices we will have to make.

But all we have to do is look at Europe. They are going down fast. We need to learn from their mistakes.

We simply can't let America go down because we are afraid of hard work. Too many people gave their lives for us to go out like that. It's time to stop complaining, and start working. Yes, that means doing jobs you might not like. Someone has to do it. Someone has to work at Walmart - don't rub it in their faces - at least they are working for their money instead of getting it handed to them.

Oct 12, 2011 5:17PM
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I have been in a WalMart twice and each time I didn't see anything I wanted to buy. Also the fact that they fired that sick employee for his medical marijuana use even though he was an exemplary employee clinched it for me. I will never shop there, EVER!!!
Oct 12, 2011 5:56PM
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Walmart is not the cheapest store around like they claim they are. There prices have went up substantially in the past couple years. There customer service sucks. Their return policies now that they just changed them suck. The hire idiots for employees, because no intelligent person would want to work for minimum wage. Most people do their shoppping on, because you get save lots of money. Their meat is disgusting. I got sick off of it twice. Even their groceries are not the cheapest. Festival foods has a bigger variety in some things and their prices are cheaper. I do not think Walmart will make it with online shopping regrowing at a very fast rate. They need to start lowering their prices and pay their employees more. They are getting very greedy and raising their prices way too much. They think just because they are the number one retail store. I used to hear people say go to Walmart theiy are teh cheapest. Well that was a few years ago maybe not now. I do believe Target is one of their major competitors  because, they have tons of discounts and sales that I have not seen Walmart beat yet.  I personally do not like Walmart, but I find myself going there lots for the smallest things. Also the fact that I know where everything is that I need.
Oct 12, 2011 5:25PM
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i only buy things at walmart when save a lot doesnt have something i need, walmart isnt the best store for my wallet!
Oct 12, 2011 5:37PM
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It's not rocket science, these executives and wall street need to realize that Walmart went to clean store policy in an attempt to make their stores appear cleaner.  What they did was take impulse items from major manufacturers off the floor which killed their sales.  Walmart needs to get their head out of their **** and clean up their dumpy stores, hire/train their employees right, and keep their shelves full(which they are horrible at!).  The rich get richer(3 Waltons on Forbe's richest list) and they just walk all over their employees and bully their suppliers/manufactures.
Oct 12, 2011 6:20PM
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also, bring back layaway may have helped.
Oct 12, 2011 5:35PM
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Walmart was and never will be again.
Oct 12, 2011 5:40PM
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I have shopped Wal Mart as long as they have been in this town.  However, lately, the meat is tasteless and the produce departments are scarce in what they have and expensive.  I can go to HEB and get good meat at equal price and have a great selection on produce.  The bakery at WM is also not as good as HEB.  Now Wal Mart is a much bigger outfit than HEB and if HEB can produce better quality for equal (or less) price, what is wrong with this picture?  I'm switching over to HEB and will use Wal Mart for non grocery items.  I hate to do this, I'm tired of tasteless meat. I hope Wal Mart will get back to how it used to be, because I will come back, its so convenient, I like to shop at the same store, saves me time, not to mention get my eyesglasses, get a haircut, manicure, and get my grandkids their McDonald's meal. Come on Wal Mart, you can do it!!
Oct 12, 2011 5:57PM
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To A Working Man's post your info is out dated. Wal-Mart uses the 80, 20 rule. Which is 80% part time and 20% full time.  Also Walmart payees min wages, I know this because I work at Wal-Mart. And have for the last 10 years.
Oct 12, 2011 5:48PM
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I don't  think Walmart will fail. They do need to down size; these huge square block supercenters are just too much for me to walk  from one end of the store to the other.

I rarely go to Walmart anymore, the brands I liked in jeans are no  longer there. I did buy paper goods and detergent but I go to Dollar Store for it now.

One big reason is because the Walmart near me in east Tucson, is always dirty, crowded, the aisles are so full of junk I can't navigate my way around, groups of people, 5 to 8, stop in the middle of an aisle to visit, shoppers with carts do not keep to the right (as they should, same as driving), abandon  their carts in the middle of one  of the large aisles, and are a little rude, plus kids running wild. No manners

HOPE YOU READ THIS WALMART--PLUS WE NEED A STORE IN FAR EAST OR RITA RANCH AREA.

Oct 12, 2011 5:17PM
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Warmart is a great place to shop. It has reasonable prices, and if you find something more expensive there they will meet the price from the competitor.
All Walmart needs is better staff to work there, most Walmart employees seem to not give a crap about being there let alone trying to help you with anything. I think Walmart should be paying them a little more than the minimum wage, you guys are raking in the money, share some with the people that are making it for you.    Happy employees bring happy customers ....Just my 2 cents Smile
Oct 12, 2011 6:34PM
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Walmart treats its employees like dirt.  They are raising what employees pay for insurance and it doesn't pay for anything.  They took away their 3 month bonuses without warning.  But this isn't even what sucks the most.  When u go to Walmart now, you will wait in line for atleast 20 minutes every single time u go.  Has Walmart hit such hard times they can't pay for a couple more cashiers to work.  They had low prices and drove out the competition and then screwed everyone.
Oct 12, 2011 6:26PM
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Increase only due to xmas.  Personally I avoid that place , they never have enough cash registers open if I have more than 1 person in front of me I just leave the cart.  I am disappointed they do not match coupons and fired the only cashier that promoted prioce match policies.  They are always changing stuff and cannot consistently find simple things.

Oct 12, 2011 5:15PM
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wal mart should have a big sales improvement for the coming months with them bringing back layoway


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