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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Gee Whiz: Where are consumer's shopping?

Wal-Mart’s Sales Stagnation Reignites Concern About Economy

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT)’s latest struggles to revive U.S. sales, following a disappointing Commerce Department report earlier this week, add to evidence that the economy isn’t recovering as quickly as expected. 

The company posted stagnant same-store sales today in its second-quarter earnings report, marking the sixth straight period of no growth. The world’s largest retailer also cut its earnings forecast for the year, citing higher spending on health care and e-commerce.

The sluggish results followed disappointing earnings from Target Corp. (TGT) and Macy’s Inc. (M) this month, signaling that a broad swath of retailers are struggling.

The Commerce Department’s report on July retail sales was the weakest in six months, hurt by tepid wage growth. While some of Wal-Mart’s woes reflect a shift away from big-box retailers, many consumers appear to be simply keeping their wallets shut.

“It’s difficult out there,” said Brian Yarbrough, an analyst at Edward Jones in St. Louis. “I just don’t know where consumers are shopping these days.” 


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