Dreary Thanksgiving at Wal-Mart


29 November 2004 – Bentonville (AR): Wal-Mart has lowered its November sales forecast following disappointing sales over the Thanksgiving weekend, which is widely seen an indicator of forthcoming holiday spending levels.

The world’s largest retailer announced that sales grew by only 0.7 per cent year-on-year in November, after disclosing just ten days ago that it estimated growth to be in the realm of 2 to 4 per cent.

October sales at the company saw an annual growth rate of 2.8 per cent.

Analysts blamed the lack of usual promotions and discounts at Wal-Mart for the dip in sales this year as the retail heavyweight aimed to boost profits.

Other US retailers who were more aggressive with pricing, by contrast, reported reasonably strong results, they said.

News of the cut in Wal-Mart’s sales forecast caused the company’s shares to fall 3 per cent on Monday within the first two hours of trading.