Wal-Mart Sales improve after several months of decline

Wal-Mart Sales improve after several months of decline

For the first time in seven months, Wal-Mart stores have witnessed a rise in sales. Lower gas prices have helped in increasing the sales as consumers have more cash to spend. The world’s largest retailer said that it is preparing for holiday season as it moves to match prices with online outlets.

The comparable sales at stores opened at least one year back have increased 0.5% in the third quarter ending October 31. “Our sense is that consumer confidence is reasonable out there and there is no doubt that lower gas prices are probably giving us a bit of benefit as well”, said Greg Foran, head of the US business.

As per the company report, quarterly sales from new and existing stores have increased from $115.7bn to $119bn. The sales have increased due to rise in demand for home goods and apparel, and also 5.5% growth in comparable sales at Neighborhood Market outlets.

As per experts, not all of Wal-Mart’s report was positive, as customer numbers in America dropped 0.7% in the quarter. Also, operating income declined on higher health-care costs. Being holiday-season around the corner, the competition between the retailers will intensify.

Wal-Mart executives have told their managers to price-match Amazon.com and other online retailers. The price-matching plan is something they are already doing, stated Foran. About half of the stores were already doing price-matching.

The price-matching plan is applicable at Wal-Mart’s stores across the U.S. Wal-Mart, which currently has over 4,300 retail store locations. It is considered that this factor might help curb showrooming activity. Showrooming is when a consumer looks out for a product in brick-and-mortar stores and purchases it online at lower price.

There are times when consumers use their phones to compare prices online while visiting brick-and-mortar stores and purchase the product from there only if they find the price same or less.