Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Let’s Talk About Wal-Mart ......

Let's Talk About Wal-Mart

There is a good reason why mainstream pundits are attempting to marginalize Wal-Mart's sudden announcement of 269 store closures, 154 of them within the U.S. with at least 10,000 employees being laid off. 

Admitting weakness in Wal-Mart means admitting weakness in the U.S. economy, and they don't want to do that.

Wal-Mart is America's largest retailer and largest employer. In 2014, Wal-Mart announced a sweeping plan to essentially crush neighborhood grocery markets with its Wal-Mart Express stores, building hundreds within months. Today, those Wal-Mart Express stores are being shut down in droves, along with some supercenters. Their top business model lasted around a year before it was abandoned.

Some in the mainstream argue that this is not necessarily a sign of economic decline because Wal-Mart claims it will be building 200 to 240 new stores worldwide by 2017. This is interesting to me because Wal-Mart just suffered its steepest stock drop in 27 years on reports that projected sales will fall by 6% to 12% for the next two years.

It would seem to me highly unlikely that Wal-Mart would close 154 stores in the U.S. (269 stores worldwide) and then open 240 other stores during a projected steep crash in sales that caused the worst 
stock trend in the company's history. I think it far more likely that Wal-Mart executives are attempting to appease shareholders with expansion promises they do not plan to keep.

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