Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Straight talk from Wal-mart execs

From Marketwatch:

"The retailer has blamed disappointing U.S. sales on a number of issues in recent quarters -- from disruptions tied to store-remodeling efforts to misreading consumers' desires. But Tuesday it narrowed its list of factors to three related financial concerns that Scott said currently face Wal-Mart customers:

General money or income worries.

Inflation's effect on consumers' budgets.

Escalating prices at the gas pump, which Wal-Mart has long called the biggest factor affecting the purchasing decisions of its core customers.

Gasoline prices at the retail level have risen nearly 40% since the end of February, and on Monday the American Automobile Association said that the cost of filling up a vehicle had hit an all-time high.

Vow to show 'price leadership'"

"Obviously, saving money is important to our customers," Scott said. "You will see us being more committed than ever to price leadership."

Can the China price go lower? I suppose greater productivity with existing machinery with the same pay for workers might do the trick...also, an earlier post here pointed to the fact that gas prices until the last few weeks at least were still lower than what could have been expected if the price per gallon had simply risen with inflation over the past 25 years...

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