Wal-Mart Cuts June Sales Forecast
The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., lowered its monthly sales forecast after Father’s Day shopping totals, citing unseasonal weather.
This is the first time in over a year and a half that sales have had to recast downward.
Wal-Mart said June’s sales will be less than originally predicted. Sales in seasonal categories such as air movement, lawn and garden, and pool toys were very weak. However, Sales in soup, hot cereal, and hot chocolate were strong, said Wal-mart.
A related Bloomberg article notes:
Shoppers may be buying low-price groceries at Wal-Mart while purchasing more-expensive tools and clothes at rivals including Home Depot Inc. and Gap Inc., said Richard Hastings, an analyst with credit consulting firm Bernard Sands.
“Consumer spending is certainly not the problem for Wal- Mart,” Hastings wrote in a report. Hastings is based in Charlotte, North Carolina. “The risk for Wal-Mart is that consumers, if liquid enough, will go to alternative retailers for certain categories.”
Personal spending in the U.S. rose 1 percent last month, the biggest gain since October 2001, according to the Department of Commerce report.