Saturday, October 25, 2008

Wal-Mart Sales Trends

Interesting fun fact about Wal-Mart: its share price, since 2003, moves at roughly the inverse of the DOW. This makes sense. When the markets and credit and confidence are up, people shop at pricier stores, including Target, which, you can see below, moves far more in line with the DOW.

At the moment, though, Wal-Mart's sinking with everything else. On Tuesday, Eduardo Castro-Wright, president and chief executive of Wal-Mart's U.S. operations, revealed some interesting bits about the company's recent sales data:
  • For the first time, Wal-Mart is seeing a paycheck-related spike in sales of baby formula, suggesting consumers are rushing to buy such necessities as soon as they have the cash.
  • Credit used as a form of payment at Wal-Mart is falling and the decline is expected to reach into the double digits this year. He noted that many consumers have "maxed out. Credit card limits don't allow them to use credit."
  • Wal-Mart's sales typically surge around pay periods at the beginning and middle of the month. Castro-Wright said that spike has become more pronounced as consumers' budgets become more stressed. In the last few months, the percentage of overall sales from the days surrounding those pay periods has risen 250 basis points, he said.

Heavy copy and pasting done from here.