Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:17 AM
xchrom (108,903 posts)
Walmart's Off to a Terrible 2013: Is Ravage-Capitalism Reaching a Point of Diminishing Returns?
In a consumer-driven economy, you can only squeeze ordinary working people so far before they're no longer able to buy the goods and services required to keep the ship afloat.
Walmart may be learning that simple truth the hard way. On Friday, Bloomberg reported a series of emails between company executives freaking out over the super-store's dismal start to the new year. “Well, we just had one of those weeks here at Walmart U.S.,” wrote Cameron Geiger, senior vice president of Walmart U.S. Replenishment. “Where are all the customers? And where’s their money?” Another exec, Jerry Murray, Walmart’s vice president of finance and logistics, described the latest sales figures as, “the worst start to a month I have seen in my ~7 years with the company.”
Due to its size – Walmart sales accounted for almost 3 percent of America's overall economic activity in 2011 -- not only is the company able to dictate the business practices of its vendors, it also serves as a bellwether for the larger economy. As Matt Stoller noted last year, “because of its scale and remarkable amount of data, the company actually has more granular data about the economy than most macro-economic forecasters. As Fed Board Governor Randall Kroszner said in a June 2006 meeting, Walmart officials 'effectively know what retail sales are before the numbers are reported because their sales are so highly correlated with overall retail sales.'”
So where is Walmart's customers' money? A chunk of it is in the pockets of the wealthiest 1 percent of American households, according to research by economist Emanuel Saez. He found that during the first three years of the “recovery,” as weak as it has been for most of us, those at the top of the pile grabbed 121 percent of all income gains and got 11 percent richer ( PDF). And the rest of us became 0.4 percent poorer, after accounting for inflation.
3 replies, 725 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Walmart's Off to a Terrible 2013: Is Ravage-Capitalism Reaching a Point of Diminishing Returns? (Original post)
Response to xchrom (Original post)
Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:32 AM
madokie (47,328 posts)
2. I notice there's a lot less cars in their parking lot
Used to be when I'd go past their parking lot would be 75% or so full, now its maybe 40%.
I don't know a lot of things but I DO know this. What is good for walmart is not good for you nor I.