Any effective business strategy includes a close study of the competition and the wins and losses they experience. Therefore, independent retailers nationwide make it a standard practice to remain current on news involving big box retailer, Walmart. And for months the local discount stores and mom and pops on Main Street have been happy to report that even the industry big wigs aren’t immune to the recession. In fact, Walmart suffered a ninth straight drop in its U.S. store sales last quarter, even with the anticipated back-to-school shopping season (second most important event following Christmas), according to CNN. Shoppers aren’t choosing favorites, they just aren’t spending money, and when they do its for a revised shopping list.
Resolutions for Sluggish Sales
As a result, Walmart is looking for resolutions to prevent any further decline in sales. Among these resolutions:
The replacement of non-essential items such as clothing and home furnishings. Budgeted shoppers have increased their spending on groceries and household goods. As CNN reports, “Recognzing these shifts in how consumers are shopping at its stores, Walmart this year started to add more groceries and household goods to its shelves and said it would get even more aggressive on prices in order to grab more of its customers’ dollars in every shopping trip.”
The effort to be green. And while most green initiatives and products are associated with high prices, Walmart doesn’t think its customers should have to choose between a product that is better for them and one they can afford. Leslie Dach, EVP of Corporate Affairs for Walmart, says in a recent interview with Fortune, “Being green will actually save money for all parties involved, the stores and customers. It will fuel the productivity loop, which helps Walmart lower costs and in turn, prices.”
The initiative to open smaller stores. As Walmart is running out of locations for its big shopping centers, and running out of ideas to boost its declining revenue, the company is looking to roll out a nationwide implementation of small express stores. These 15,000 square-foot express convenience stores will allow Walmart to enter urban markets, as well as some rural towns.