Archive for Saturday, August 19, 2006

Wal-Mart facing growth woes

August 19, 2006


— Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is fighting battles on multiple fronts after posting its first quarterly profit decline in 10 years, and analysts question whether the retailer can regain the feverish growth rates of its past.

Wal-Mart's woes range from high energy prices, which hit its lower-income customer base and its own costs, to setbacks in its international strategy, to public relations stumbles like this week's sudden resignation of civil rights icon Andrew Young as its public ambassador over comments made about the ethnicity of store operators.

On the plus side, analysts say, Wal-Mart has ambitious programs to stock trendier products, remodel most of its more than 2,000 Supercenter stores and tighten its grip on the costs of inventory, labor and energy.

In Lawrence, the firm's store at 3300 Iowa is being expanded into a supercenter, and plans are under way for a new store at the northwest corner of Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive.

Combined with an ongoing public relations offensive to counter critics who claim its pay and benefits are skimpy, Wal-Mart is juggling a lot of balls at once and analysts say the outcome is still up in the air.

"I think they're in so much transition right now that it's hard to measure whether or not they're making progress," said Patricia Edwards, portfolio manager and retail analyst at Wentworth, Hauser & Violich in Seattle, which manages $8.2 billion in assets and holds 51,000 Wal-Mart shares. "It is a lot to handle."

Second-quarter results showed the first profit decline in a decade on the cost of selling its loss-making business in Germany. It quit another loss-maker, South Korea, in May but still operates in 13 countries in Asia, Latin America and Britain and intends to keep expanding, especially in China.


armyguy 11 years, 5 months ago

Poor Walmart, makes me almost feel sorry for them.

Tychoman 11 years, 5 months ago

Yeah it really sucks making just a little less money per quarter for the first time in TEN YEARS.

People while sitting in grassy WalMart interpretive areas: "Wow, WalMart we're starting to realize that you're a worthless piece of crap-conglomeration. I think that us and our friends are going to try and spend our hard-earned money somewhere else that actually gives back to our community."

WalMart: destroys neighborhoods and all that is good and decent in the world "Okay fine but when I make $100,000 less per quarter I'm going to whine and snivel about it as much as possible and then destroy more towns to build more stores to make up for the loss. But whatever you do, don't turn out like Germany and South Korea where they don't shop at me at all because they've wised up to how I destroy neighborhoods and all that is good and decent in the world."

Tychoman 11 years, 5 months ago

Oh don't tell me you think I'm jealous of WALMART. It's a ridiculous article. Did you actually read it? So the biggest retail monster on the planet made a little less money for the first time in 10 years. Boo f**king hoo.

My priorities and respect are for local businesses, not conglomerations who send what little of my money they charge me to their executives instead of the people who work overseas building their cheap crap.

Tychoman 11 years, 5 months ago

Wow. A recycling center. That definitely makes up for the huge waste of space that is WalMart.

People only use the WM recycling center because (for some strange reason) the City doesn't provide curbside recycling service or a city-sponsored center.

Tychoman 11 years, 5 months ago

And the Master of Links destroys everyone's argument as usual. How conceited you are. The City should have been doing curbside recycling long before WalMart put in theirs.

Tychoman 11 years, 5 months ago

My family and I have always recycled. But now that I live in Topeka, it's harder to. Don't assume things. What on earth made you think that I don't recycle?

I'm not thanking WalMart for anything.

Tychoman 11 years, 5 months ago

One recycling center doesn't make up for disgustingly low raises and now employee health insurance, or the destruction of neighborhoods, small business and all things good and decent. At least that's what I thought you were trying to say in your last convoluted post.

Tychoman 11 years, 5 months ago

Why so many applicants? Because those 25,000 people were on a dare from their families. How should I know? People ARE desperate for jobs because the Bush administration encourages outsourcing.

Tychoman 11 years, 5 months ago

Oh great here come more links.

I don't remember a recession during the Clinton administration. You and your unhealthy obssession again.

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