Retailers, consumers and prices
Check out the October monthly sales results due this week.
Retail chains, like Wal-Mart, Costco and J.C. Penney, will release October results on Wednesday and Thursday, and Thomson Reuters is forecasting a decline of 0.1 percent.
“If the index actually comes in at -0.1 percent, this would be the weakest same-store sales result ever registered since Thomson Reuters began collecting estimates in 2000,” Thomson Reuters said.
Department stores and specialty retailers are expected to be the worst hit, mitigated only slightly by shoppers seeking bargains at discount chains or drugstores.
Check out Wal-Mart meeting with analysts as a global recession looms.
The company has done well in 2008 as U.S. consumers flocked to its lower-priced goods while the economy slowed.
But now investors want to see if the company can keep it going in 2009.
Analysts, who meet with the company Monday and Tuesday, want to see if the world’s largest retailer further trims its store opening plans.
Wal-Mart will likely continue to benefit — at least compared with other retailers — as consumers keep a tighter grip on their wallets while the economic slowdown spreads around the world, analysts said.
But they note that when consumers have less money, they also have less money to spend at Wal-Mart.
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In one of the more chilling consumer spending anecdotes thus far, a Wal-Mart executive told a lunch crowd in Los Angeles that more of its customers are waiting to have paychecks or government assistance checks in hand before they buy necessities like baby formula.
“We have started to see some very disturbing behavior,” said Eduardo Castro-Wright, president and chief executive of Wal-Mart’s U.S. operations.
Sam’s Club and Costco work as membership clubs. Shoppers pay an annual fee that allows them to shop in the warehouses and get discounts on everything from diamond rings and big screen TVs, to bulk-sized packages of toilet paper or bottled water.
In Wal-Mart’s rocky attempts to sell trendy clothes a couple years ago it learned some very important lessons — one being that it is difficult to sell a huge volume of skinny jeans to your shoppers when analysts say the average American woman wears a size 12 to 14.
Since its fashion foray fumble, Wal-Mart has since gone back to the drawing board and is now trying to tailor its stores to meet local demand.
Wal-Mart is joining the Manhattan pop-up brigade.
Starting this week in New York City, the retailer will put up a temporary store in Times Square and have a truck roving around the city to celebrate the launch of AC/DC’s new album.
The rock band has chosen to exclusively sell its latest album, Black Ice, through the discount retailer in the United States, and Wal-Mart will also exclusively sell the AC/DC Live: Rock Band Track Pack video game.
This week, AC/DC fans — and curious onlookers — can visit the Black Ice truck to listen to the AC/DC album in advance of its release on Oct 20.
On Saturday night, at the Times Square MTV store, Wal-Mart and MTV will unveil the “AC/DC Rock Band store” and sell the first copies of the new album.
Wal-Mart joins a long list of retailers who have stormed the Big Apple, setting up pop-up stores on an island where they have no permanent location.
Last month, Target set up temporary “bodegas” in Manhattan to show off its line of designer merchandise.
Check out disappointing September retail sales
Many U.S. retailers posted worse-than-expected sales at stores open at least a year on Wednesday, and some cut their profit outlooks and said things won’t improve anytime soon as consumers remain shaken by the financial crisis, job worries and the housing slump.
Discounter Wal-Mart Stores and warehouse clubs managed the best sales performances in September as shoppers sought bargains on necessities. Wal-Mart, the world’s biggest retailer, stood by its third quarter earnings forecast.
Last month, in a poll conducted by SheSpeaks, a women’s insights marketing firm, almost 50 percent of respondents said they would spend less this holiday. That was up from nearly 30 percent who answered the same way last year.
In a new poll, SheSpeaks asks where shoppers intend to spend fewer dollars. Here are the results from the updated poll:
Instead of being able to buy the items online, Walmart.com browsers can check to see if the products are in stock at a store near them.