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ELVIS
02-22-2011, 02:04 PM
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc's attempts to fix sales at its U.S. discount stores are taking longer than expected as the world's largest retailer loses shoppers to lower-priced dollar stores.

The retailer reported its seventh straight quarterly decline in sales at U.S. stores open at least a year, posting a 1.8 percent drop that was much bigger than the company's worst expectations.

Wal-Mart shares fell more than 3 percent, despite reporting earnings that beat analysts expectations. U.S. sales are also still being hurt by a poorly executed decision, since reversed, to pare down the number of items Wal-Mart offers.

Dollar Stores such as Family Dollar Stores Inc and Dollar General Corp have gained appeal with shoppers on tight budgets by offering lower price points -- albeit for smaller quantities -- on goods such as detergent, especially as those shoppers run out of money at the end of the month.

Wal-Mart is tweaking its prices and product assortment, and it "will take time to see results," said CEO Mike Duke.

"What they are doing to everybody else, the dollar stores are doing to them," said Britt Beemer, president of America's Research Group. According to his research, 33 percent of U.S. consumers shop at dollar stores and 40 percent of Wal-Mart shoppers shop at dollar stores.

Wal-Mart is adding a broader assortment of smaller goods with lower prices to appeal to such patrons, Chief Financial Officer Charles Holley said.

Dollar stores are rapidly opening more locations and already have a stronger presence in urban areas that Wal-Mart is trying to enter. Shoppers must often drive further to Wal-Mart, an issue that is more pressing as gas prices rise.

Shoppers still did their big shopping trips at Wal-Mart, but it lost out on so-called "fill in" trips when shoppers buy items such as bread, milk or detergent that they need quickly.

The company said it expects its U.S. discount store same-store sales to be down 2 percent to flat this quarter.

Those results and expectations are in sharp contrast to company optimism in the fall, when Wal-Mart said fourth-quarter sales at its namesake U.S. stores open at least a year should rise, even though its official forecast suggested a decline of 1 percent to a rise of 2 percent.

"At the analyst day in October, Mike Duke made it very clear they were going to do a positive comp this quarter in Walmart U.S. and clearly (they) did not do that, so that was a disappointment," said Telsey Advisory Group analyst Joseph Feldman.

Wal-Mart shares fell 3.4 percent to $53.50.

SALES LIGHT, EARNINGS TOP EXPECTATIONS

While Wal-Mart has expanded into more than a dozen countries and is ripe for further international growth, the U.S. stores still represent the lion's share of its business.

More than 62 percent of its $418.95 billion in fiscal 2011 sales came from the U.S. discount stores, and sales in the unit are key to pleasing Wall Street.

Wal-Mart is still the biggest U.S. retailer, with more than 10 percent of total U.S. retail sales, though it is not growing as quickly as the overall market.

Aside from its own issues, Wal-Mart is also facing economic headwinds, with unemployment remaining stubbornly high and gasoline prices rising. The average U.S. price of gasoline rose more than 5 cents over the past two weeks.

The use of government assistance programs to pay for goods continues to rise, said Bill Simon, president and CEO of the Walmart U.S. business.

Simon said Wal-Mart would only pass along price increases when they cannot be avoided. It is working with suppliers to reduce inflationary pressure, where possible, on everything from food to clothing.

Wal-Mart earned $5.02 billion, or $1.41 per share, in the fourth quarter ended on January 31, up from $4.82 billion, or $1.26 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, earnings were $1.34 a share, compared with the analysts' average estimate of $1.31, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales overall rose 2.5 percent to $115.6 billion, short of analysts' expectations of $117.7 billion.

Lower sales of electronics, coupled with reduced prices on goods such as televisions, pressured sales.

Wal-Mart reduced its fiscal 2012 U.S. capital expenditure budget by $1 billion, for a total of $6.5 billion to $7 billion.

It forecast per share earnings of 91 cents to 96 cents for the first quarter and $4.35 to $4.50 for the fiscal year.


:elvis:

Jagermeister
02-22-2011, 02:32 PM
I can't tell by the shear numbers of people that flock to my local Wally that they are hurting any at all.

They have to much power anyway. Fuck Wal-Mart. :finger-attitude:

ELVIS
02-22-2011, 02:47 PM
I buy essentials at the dollar store...

Jagermeister
02-22-2011, 02:50 PM
I buy essentials at the dollar store...

I should.

I bought a case of water for work there sometime ago. The goddamn label would fall off the bottle as soon as you opened it up. Not that I give a shit what bottled water I am drinking but hell a guy can't even get a sip before he has a damn label to throw away.

chefcraig
02-22-2011, 02:56 PM
I buy essentials at the dollar store...

Just be careful about examining the expiration dates on some of that stuff, man. You'd be surprised at how they get away with selling outdated or expired merchandise, and this extends to places like Big Lots as well. Some time in 2001 or so, I was shopping and came across a box of Wheaties with Dale Earnhardt on the front of it, soon after the man's death. No big deal, except for the fact that Earnhardt appeared on the cereal box in 1997.

Kristy
02-22-2011, 03:01 PM
What a shift in cultural norms. People in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, spill their blood in revolt for freedom. In America, we stop buying Chinese manufactured junk at mega Wal-Marts to decorate our homes.

Seshmeister
02-22-2011, 03:04 PM
Shocking...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1357291/Walmart-employees-furious-getting-fired-stopping-thief.html

Fired for being brave: Ex-Walmart employees furious after getting sacked
for stopping a gun-wielding alleged thief
By DANIEL BATES
Last updated at 8:31 PM on 15th February 2011

When four Walmart workers stopped a robbery at their store, many thought they should be given a medal for bravery.
Working as a team they took down an armed raider, grabbed his gun and stopped him from stealing a laptop.
But just days later their pride turned to disgust when Walmart announced all four were to be fired.

The supermarket giant said they had broken company policy and that their actions had ‘put others at risk’.
The right course of action would have been to let the robber commit his theft without intervening, the company said.
Now the foursome are all looking for jobs and are furious at how they have been treated.
‘I honestly felt worse than when I had the gun to my back,’ex-employee Gabe Stewart said. ‘I honestly felt betrayed.’

It was on January 13 that the robbery took place at the Walmart in Layton near Salt Lake City in Utah.
As the alleged thief was spotted putting a laptop in his clothes in the electronics department then walking off without paying for it.
As the robber tried to leave the store, four staff tried to escort him to the office to await police but he pulled out a gun and pushed it into Mr Stewart’s back.
Co-workers Justin Richins and Shawn Ray were also pushed up against a door until asset protection supervisor Lori Poulsen pulled the gun out of the thief’s hands.

The other three then jumped on him and restrained him whilst colleagues called the police.

The rule the workers broke was known as ‘AP09’ which states that employees can use reasonable force to stop a suspect but they have to withdraw if the suspect takes out a gun.
The foursome claim they were backed into a corner and had no choice but to take down the thief, even though it meant breaking the rules.
Ms Poulson said of the incident: 'You have to make a decision - do I fight for my life, or do I stand up and watch?'

Adding to the drama was the admission from Layton police that the alleged thief Trent Longton was a convicted felon with a string of warrants to his name and a long rap sheet.
A police spokesman would not comment on the Walmart workers’ actions but he said it was in everyone’s interest that the thief was taken down.
Longton has now admitted two counts of robbery and possession of a gun by a restricted person and is facing jail.
But this is not the first time that Walmart has fired one of its staff for seemingly inexplicable reasons.

Earlier this year James Dallin, an assistant manager with 10 years of experience with the company, was fired after separating a worker from an angry husband at the store in nearby Cedar Hills.
The husband put in an official complaint and six weeks later Mr Dallin was sacked for breaching rules on ‘workplace violence’.
A Walmart spokesman said: ‘We appreciate the intentions demonstrated by our associates in this situation, but the actions taken put their safety, and potentially the safety of our customers and other associates in jeopardy.’

Kristy
02-22-2011, 03:06 PM
I buy essentials at the dollar store...

The rest of your trailer park must be so jealous of you.

FORD
02-22-2011, 03:31 PM
One of the dollar stores here locally actually went out of business a month or so ago. I knew the economy was fucked up, but how bad does it have to be when a dollar store goes tits up?

And this one just happened to be in the same strip mall with a Big Lots, a Goodwill store, and an Orowheat bakery outlet, so its not like there wasn't always a steady stream of traffic looking for cheap deals in the area.

Nitro Express
02-22-2011, 03:41 PM
Dollar stores and Walmart all smell like Stanley Market in Hong Kong. That musty, oily cheap Chinese smell full of shit that you don't need and won't last.

ELVIS
02-22-2011, 03:41 PM
The rest of your trailer park must be so jealous of you.

At least the dollar store where you work is still open...