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6 Battling Big-Box Retailers: Who’s Winning?

The sector's off to a mixed start so far this year

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Walmart (NYSE:WMT)Year-to-Date Gains: 14%

While Walmart’s face-off with D.C. — and the resulting cancellation of three new stores (pending a veto by the District’s mayor) — may seem insignificant considering the company’s huge footprint, it’s part of a larger problem for retailer. Walmart has more than 10,000 stores in the U.S. and overseas, but it’s struggling to keep growing.

In fact, urban areas — like the District — represent some of Walmart’s last chances for expansion stateside. And the living-wage bill, as Daniel Gross aptly puts it in The Daily Beast, is “just the latest example of Walmart’s trouble penetrating the urban territory it needs to conquer.”

Without conquering that territory, Walmart is nothing more than a sleepy giant — as evident in its projected earnings growth of just 6% this year, and average growth of 9% for the next five. And while it managed to grow sales in the most recent quarter — unlike Target and despite many of the same headwinds — its meager 1.1% growth was less than analysts had been expecting.

No wonder the stock’s been lagging the broader market this year, with 13% gains so far in 2013 and only a 7% improvement over the past 12 months.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media,

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