Wal-Mart outpaced by mass-market trends

October 14, 2015

The mega-retailer’s shares fell almost 10 pct, wiping out more than $20 bln of value, after it warned pay and tech spending would hit next year’s profit unexpectedly hard. Changing shopping habits – think Amazon – and wage pressures are stronger headwinds than investors thought.

Rob Cox: Wal-Mart just shy of target on gun front

By Rob Cox
October 6, 2015

Like CVS with smokes, the retailer stopped selling AR-15 rifles, the kind used in an Oregon college shooting, because it’s bad business. Yet Wal-Mart blocked a Wall Street parish’s plan to make that and similar policies permanent. The church’s case merits Supreme Court review.

Amazon swaps more than size with Wal-Mart

By Rob Cox
August 17, 2015

The $250 bln online retailer recently surpassed its bricks-and-mortar rival in terms of market value. The goliath led by Jeff Bezos also finds itself in another spot Wal-Mart will more happily cede: defending workplace practices. Like its rival, Amazon too will find wisdom.

Wal-Mart can win leading the way on minimum wage

May 22, 2014

The mega-retailer’s labor costs would rise by $2 bln with a higher U.S. pay floor. But it also has more low-wage customers than employees, thus translating into a net gain in earnings, a Breakingviews analysis shows. Taking a stand on the issue could pay off for Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart scandal demands spirit of Sam Walton

By Rob Cox
April 23, 2012

Chairman Rob Walton must channel his father’s integrity and initiate an independent probe into how managers, including current executives, suppressed strong evidence of widespread bribery and corruption in Mexico. To recover, heads will need to roll without fear or favor.

Wal-Mart jamboree missing one thing – a vote count

June 1, 2012

The under-fire mega-retailer pulled out all the stops for its shareholder meeting, inviting Justin Timberlake and Lionel Richie to the party. But its organizational skills don’t extend to the basics, like providing more timely color on the controversial re-election of its board.

Wal-Mart’s win puts nail in group suits’ coffin

June 20, 2011

Wal-Mart's win at the U.S. Supreme Court puts a nail in the coffin of big group lawsuits.

Wal-Mart’s banking twist curls through many cracks

October 8, 2012

The retailer’s new venture with American Express looks a good option for poorer Americans lacking access to financial services. The card also may tempt bank customers with a model that’s neither credit nor typical debit. But with deposits uninsured, regulators must watch closely.

Is Wal-Mart pulling a Circuit City on Best Buy?

December 14, 2010

Is Wal-Mart pulling a Circuit City on Best Buy? Two years ago, the mega-retailer's electronics push helped send Circuit City into bankruptcy and eventual liquidation. Best Buy thrived for a time on its rival's misfortunes. But its own falling same-store sales suggest it may be the next weak link in the retail food chain.

Wal-Mart sounds pricy vuvuzela on African growth

By Rob Cox
September 28, 2010

Wal-Mart has finally sounded the vuvuzela on African expansion.