December 27, 2004

Media's Subdued Response to Good WM Sales

Do you remember the ruckus that ensued when Wal-Mart did not hit November sales targets, even though sales increased? This blog received much attention for insisting that the media, other bloggers, and anti-WM advocates were blowing this way out of proportion.

Wal-Mart was not on its deathbed then; it isn't now. People did not "wake up" on Thanksgiving and begin massive retail disobedience.

We noted that Wal-Mart was expecting a late rush of shopping, which is the official reason that they did not release sales data for the day after Thanksgiving. Sales did not increase as much as WM wanted, and a print advertising blitz ensued.

Well, that late rush came as expected--overall same-store sales for the five week period starting 11/27/04 are expected to be around 2% over last year:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which had faced tepid sales earlier in the season, said early Monday that December sales would come at the midpoint of its reduced December forecast. It added that sales on the Sunday after Christmas were above expectations.

It is important to emphasize that this "same-store" metric is not always representative of the whole, but will a solid representation most of the time. In total, WM opened up 286 new regular and supercenters stores through November 2004--about 24 a month, if none were opened in December--roughly 10% (286/2960) of the whole:

new stores.gif

Current Wal-Mart sales data is available here.

Posted by Kevin on December, 27 2004 at 04:31 PM