February 20, 2014 |
If Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s fiscal fourth-quarter earnings were any indication, the economy could use some shaping up. The Bentonville, Ark., giant, the largest retailer in the world, said its profit for the three-month period ended Jan. 31, plunged 21% to $4.4 billion, or $1.36 a share, from $5.6 billion, or $1.67 a share, during the same period a year earlier. The company's earnings missed Wall Street's expectations of $1.59 a share. The chain's $128.8 billion in net sales, a 1.4% increase, also failed to hit forecasts of $129.9 billion.
February 9, 2014 |
When Madonna was on tour in Spain a few years ago, teenage girls turned up at her final performance wearing the very outfit she had worn for her first show. They had bought it from Zara, the Spanish retailer. While most fashion retailers take months to introduce new product lines, Zara's supply chain can design and deliver new clothes to its 1,500 stores in more than 70 countries within days. In her book "The Good Jobs Strategy," published by New Harvest, Zeynep Ton argues that Zara's investment in staff is crucial to this speed, together with its ability to collect information from employees on what is popular.
February 4, 2014 |
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is plunging nearly 500 million Canadian dollars, or $452 million, into its efforts in the next year to dominate the retail landscape in the Great White North. The discounter's Canadian unit said Tuesday that it will spend $339 million to open 35 new supercenter stores - or 1-million square feet of new retail space - by the end of it fiscal year on Jan. 31, 2015. The build-out would bring the total number of Wal-Mart units in the country to 395. Last week, rival retailer Target said it would continue its growth in Canada by adding nine additional stores to the 124 locations already open.
January 31, 2014 |
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Friday that U.S. sales figures for its fiscal fourth quarter would probably come in below earlier forecasts when they're announced Feb. 20 due to the effects of volatile weather and cuts to the federal food stamp program. The world's largest retailer said in November that for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, it expected sales at American Wal-Mart stores open at least a year to be relatively flat. So-called same-store sales at its warehouse chain Sam's Club were projected to be anywhere from flat to up 2%. But on Friday the company said that sales would likely miss the mark, pushed down from stronger-than-expected pressure from a government reduction in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that went into effect Nov. 1. Winter storms also caused store closings during the period, according to Wal-Mart, which has more than 11,000 units in its system.
January 24, 2014 |
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is laying off 2,300 employees in its Sam's Club division as it tries to make its workforce leaner. In total, 2% of the 116,000 Sam's Club employees in the U.S. will lose their jobs. Employees were being informed of the layoffs Friday, spokesman Bill Durling said. Sam's Club, a membership-based warehouse chain in the mold of Costco, said nearly half the cuts will affect salaried assistant managers. In the fresh goods area, where previously there were six separate assistant managers, now three more senior and better-paid managers are to oversee a meat and deli block, a grocery and produce section and a bakery and cafe segment.
January 23, 2014 |
Wal-Mart announced Thursday it would create a $10-million fund to help support and spur innovation in U.S. manufacturing. Bill Simon, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s U.S. president, outlined some of the details of the fund at t he United States Conference of Mayors' winter meeting in Washington, D.C. The five-year program will launch in March and will be conducted in collaboration with the mayors' conference, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman said. ...