Government Shutdown Impacts Wal-Mart and Hurting Sales, Execs Say

Government employees aren't being paid, so not shopping as much

By Burke Speaker, Investorplace Writer

The government shutdown and the “tough and unpredictable global economy” is impacting Wal-Mart (WMT) stores across the country, CEO Mike Duke said Tuesday at a meeting with investors and analysts.

Duke did not release details about just how the shutdown was affecting the bottom line, but Reuters reported that Wal-Mart U.S. chief executive Bill Simon also made similar statements.

In effect, the government shutdown impacts employees who not getting paid,  and they are not shopping or spending as they did before.

“It should come as no surprise that the government shutdown is on the minds of our U.S. customers,” Duke said, according to prepared remarks he was scheduled to make at the conference.

“As you would expect, we’re following the situation very closely. The competition is also tough. I see it when I am out visiting their stores. And of course, the holidays are right around the corner — raising the stakes even further on serving customers and delivering on performance.”

From USA Today:

The Arkansas-based firm saw its same-store sales slip 0.3% in the second quarter. Even though Wal-Mart expects its net sales for the full year to grow between 2% and 3%, that’s down from previous estimates of 5% to 6%.

With the all-important holiday season near, Duke said, “near-term execution is critical for us.”

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