Retailers, consumers and prices
Check Out Line: Wal-Mart flexing muscles amid recession
Check out the quarterly results at Wal-Mart.
The retail giant posted a flat profit in line with Wall Street’s expectations, but it gained market share in the recession as consumers sought to take advantage of the company’s low prices on necessities.
Wal-Mart Chief Executive Mike Duke said the company remains cautiously optimistic about the timetable for the economic recovery, while Vice Chairman Eduardo Castro-Wright said a large part of its U.S. growth was coming from new customers.
Others have accepted the new reality of thrifty shoppers as well, as upscale, natural grocer Whole Foods blew past analysts’ profit expectations thanks partly to cost controls and lower-priced fare. Department store operator Kohl’s, which typically has lower-priced items than other chains and uses discounts to lure shoppers, also just topped Wall Street’s profit expectations.
Hopes the economy will soon emerge from recession were dented this week by a government report that showed sales at U.S. retailers fell for a second straight month in April.
Also in the basket:
Nice Work if You Can Mix It (Wall Street Journal)
Massachusetts Adopts Rules for Calorie Counts on Menus (Wall Street Journal)