Surveys Say Wal-Mart’s Strong/Weak Holiday Season
Will this be the best of times or worst of times for Wal-Mart
Stores? Two research studies reported on by Bloomberg News this week
point to two distinctly different scenarios for the retailer this holiday season.
It’s not hard to guess the one that stakeholders in the world’s largest retailer
hope will prove true.
An article on Monday cited a survey conducted by Consumer
Edge Research, which found consumers who plan to do more shopping at the chain’s
stores this holiday season exceed those who were looking to do less by 22 percent.
“While consumers are indicating they will be spending about as much
on the holidays this year as they did last year, they are also indicating they
will be increasing their holiday shopping at the discount retailers, likely
to seek out the best deals possible,” Bill Pecoriello, an analyst with
Consumer Edge, said in the report.
Another study from Cleveland Research, however,
said that changes made by the retailer under U.S. chief Bill Simon have failed
to reverse the sales slide of recent quarters due to poor in-store execution
and failure to explain the benefits of the changes made to consumers.
“Sales have drifted south again over the last couple months, and the
outlook for the fourth quarter is now more questionable,” said Jeff Stinson,
an analyst with Cleveland Research, told Bloomberg. “We are less
optimistic that the business will inflect favorably in time for the holidays.”
Stores, which is holding its annual investor day today, declined to comment
on Cleveland’s findings when contacted by Bloomberg.
Discussion Questions: What is your reaction to the studies by Consumer Edge
Research and Cleveland Research and the conclusions drawn about Wal-Mart Stores?
Is it possible that the conclusions of each study could be right?
- Wal-Mart to Benefit From Budget-Conscious Shoppers, Survey Shows – Bloomberg
- Wal-Mart U.S. Sales Not Bouncing Back, Cleveland Research Says – Bloomberg