Walmart customers still hurting
HTT Staff -- Home Textiles Today, 11/15/2011 1:19:00 PM
Bentonville, Ark. - Same-store sales for Walmart U.S. finally eked into positive territory during the third quarter after nine consecutive quarters of decline, but the retailer said its core customer remains hard-pressed.
"While we feel good about the progress in our stores, our
customers remain concerned about jobs, and only one in 10 Walmart
Moms that we surveyed view the state of the U.S. economy as good.
They want to save money. They're juggling credit cards, using
coupons, and skipping restaurants and vacations. There is a real sense that the economic strain is taking its toll," said Mike Duke, president and ceo of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
In pre-recorded remarks about the quarter released this morning, Walmart U.S. president and ceo Bill Simon said show housing sale continue to impinge upon discretionary purchases in home. The department's comp for the quarter was a low single-digit negative, he said.
The department, he added, is experiencing "increased momentum from expansion in home basics and opening price point items, as well as modular updates."
Sales at Walmart U.S. rose 2.7% to $63.8 billion for the quarter ended Oct. 31, with comps up 1.3% (excluding the impact of fuel sales). Operating income for U.S. discount stores rose 5.1% to $4.6 billion.
Sam's Club sales climbed 9.5% to $13.3 billion, with comps up 5.7% (excluding fuel sales). Operating income increased 6.3% to $390 million
The corporation's overall profit slipped 2.9% to $3.34 billion. Earnings per share rose to 96 cents compared to 95 cents in last year's 3Q.
Total sales jumped 8.2% to $109.5 billion, which included $2.1 billion in sales from acquisitions in South Africa and the UK.
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