WAL-MART yesterday posted its seventh consecutive quarterly drop in sales at established US stores and said it will take some time to turn things around in its biggest market.
The world’s largest retailer, whose shares closed down 3.1 per cent, has struggled with pricing as it has lost customers to cheaper stores while recovering from a poorly executed decision, since reversed, to pare down the number of items it offered.
“Some of the pricing and merchandising issues in Wal-Mart ran deeper than we initially expected, and they require a response that will take time to see results,” Wal-Mart chief executive Mike Duke said.
Fourth quarter like-for-like sales at US?stores fell by 1.8 per cent. The retail giant posted earnings per share of $1.34 (83p) before one-off items, against ?expectations of $1.31. Total fourth quarter sales of $115.6bn missed Wall?Street expectations of $117bn.
Meanwhile, staff at Asda, the British supermarket chain owned by Wal-Mart, will share in a £27m bonus pot.
Asda helped boost its parent company’s international sales nine per cent.