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Walmart Can’t Keep Its Shelves Stocked

Executive says 'self-inflicted wounds' hurting retailer

Wal-Mart WMTMega-retailer Walmart (NYSE:WMT) is struggling to keep its shelves full of products — but not in a good way.

At a Feb. 1 meeting, U.S. CEO Bill Simon reported that logistical problems are delaying the shipment and delivery of items to restock stores, Bloomberg reports.

“We run out quickly and the new stuff doesn’t come in,” Simon said in the minutes. He referred to the restocking problem as a “self-inflicted wound” that was the most important problem the company faced.

The restocking problem has been confronting Walmart for more than a year. Beginning in 2011, the retailer has had consultants track its logistics and shape the restocking habits of its stores. Even the always-present greeters at each store are now working to keep the shelves full. Simon has appointed one of the firm’s executive vice presidents to fix the problem once and for all.

The restocking issue comes on top of a sales slump for Walmart. In a recent earnings call, Simon said same-store sales will be largely flat for the 13-week period that ends April 26.

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