Wal-Mart US Comp Sales Down for Eighth Straight Quarter
Bentonville-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s net sales were $103.4 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2012, an increase of 4.4 percent from $99.1 billion in the first quarter last year. The Bentonville-based mega-retailer reported earnings results on May 17.
Walmart U.S. same store sales declined for the eighth consecutive quarter, and the company said it was due to less traffic. But Walmart said the average ticket was up vs. the prior year and that the health and wellness categories had positive comp sales
“Walmart U.S. comp sales for the first quarter were within our guidance range,” said Mike Duke, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. “We recognize we still have work to do and comp sales growth remains the greatest priority for me and the entire Walmart U.S. team. The good news is that the plan Bill Simon and his team are executing is gaining traction. We’re focused on delivering every day low price and a wide assortment.”
During the company annual shareholders meeting June 3, Wal-Mart announced that it has so far added back 8,500 items previously removed from its assortment and that its “action alley” is back in stores.
Walmart Express opens in Gentry
On June 8 in Gentry, near Bentonville, home to Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s headquarters, the world’s largest retailer opened one of its first two Walmart Express stores, MarketWatch reports.
The store carries many product categories in consumables and general merchandise that a regular Walmart carries. But the 15,000-s.f. store stocks only about 11,000 to 13,000 SKUs, vs. about 100,000 items at a typical supercenter. It does, however, feature locally grown produce.
Wal-Mart plans to open about 15 to 20 Walmart Express locations this year, in rural municipalities in northwest Arkansas and North Carolina, but also in urban markets in Chicago. Some stores will feature gasoline stations and most will have pharmacies.
At the Gentry store, MarketWatch reports that signs such as, “If you want it, we’ll get it. Just ask.” are featured as Walmart takes suggestions from local customers on what they want and experiments with the right assortment for the new format.
Walmart Market opens in Fayetteville
A new Walmart Market opened May 18 at 3475 W. Black Forest Dr., just off Wedington Drive in Fayetteville. The Fayetteville Flyer reports that the 34,999-s.f. store will employ about 90 full- and part-time employees.