Is it a good sign or a bad one for the American economy if Walmart’s sales are down nationwide? Does it mean that the affluent are back on their feet and no longer forced to shop downscale, or that none of us has any money at all?
If you live in the real world, you probably guessed “the second one.” You are correct.
Eduardo Castro-Wright, vice chairman of Wal-Mart stores, said during the call that the same-store sales decline was fueled by a “slight drop in [customer] traffic to Wal-Mart stores in the fourth quarter” as well as a decline in the total value of purchases that customers were making at Wal-Mart.
Grocery and consumer electronics were impacted the most by price deflation while sales of health and wellness, and pharmacy products were strong, said Castro-Wright.
Wal-Mart said it expects same-store sales to be flat to “plus or minus 1%” in its first quarter
So, people are buying fewer TVs and frozen chicken fingers at Walmart, but still buying ibuprofen and shampoo. However, as Walmart goes, so goes the nation (a scary thought.) If all consumer spending is down, not just Walmart, that is a bad sign for the rest of the economy.
Wal-Mart suffers sales decline in key quarter [CNN Money]