U.S. retailers wrap weakest year since 2009; Wal-mart to shutter 269 stores, 154 of them in the USA

“Sales at U.S. retailers declined in December to wrap the weakest year since 2009, raising concern about the momentum in consumer spending heading into 2016,” Sho Chandra reports for Bloomberg. “For all of 2015, purchases climbed 2.1 percent, the smallest advance of the current economic expansion. The slowdown, including electronics stores, clothing merchants and grocers, indicates Americans probably preferred to sock away the savings from cheaper fuel instead of splurging during the holiday season.”

“‘There isn’t anything encouraging in this report,’ said Thomas Simons, a money-market economist at Jefferies Group LLC in New York,” Chandra reports. “The retail report also showed sales decreased 0.9 percent at clothing chains and 0.2 percent at electronics stores.”

“Recent reports had signaled the November-December holiday season was a mixed one for retailers,” Chandra reports. “Same-store sales fell in the two months for chains ranging from Macy’s Inc. to Best Buy Co. while those who snagged an increase included J.C. Penney Co. Same-store sales for the industry as a whole account for about 17 percent of total retail sales, which make up almost half of consumer spending.”

Read more in the full article here.

“Wal-Mart is closing 269 stores, more than half of them in the U.S. and another big chunk in its challenging Brazilian market,” Anne D’Innocenzio reports for The Associated Press. “The stores being shuttered account for a fraction of the company’s 11,000 stores worldwide and less than 1 percent of its global revenue. More than 95 percent of the stores set to be closed in the U.S. are within 10 miles of another Wal-Mart. The Bentonville, Arkansas, company said it is working to ensure that workers are placed in nearby locations. The store closures will start at the end of the month.”

“Wal-Mart operates 4,500 in the U.S. Its global workforce is 2.2 million, 1.4 million in the U.S. alone,” D’Innocenzio reports. “Wal-Mart has warned that its earnings for the fiscal year starting next month will be down as much as 12 percent as it invests further in online operations and pours money into improving customers’ experience.”

“Of the closures announced Friday, 154 locations will be in the U.S., including the company’s 102 smallest-format stores called Wal-Mart Express, which were opened as a test in 2011,” D’Innocenzio reports. “Also covered in the closures are 23 Neighborhood Markets, 12 supercenters, seven stores in Puerto Rico, six discount stores and four Sam’s Clubs. Wal-Mart will now focus in the U.S. on supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, the e-commerce business and pickup services for shoppers.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Blech.

47 Comments

      1. Spot on. We could on about record high of people in poverty, record high of taxation, record high of so many other things the fantasy world Dumbocrats (some, certainly not all) NEVER mention …

            1. Informative article, thanks.

              BIG IF opening 300 new stores into 2017. Not one opened, but we do know and have the list of 269 closing.

              If they follow through I count a net gain of 31 stores.

              We shall see …

            2. GoeB, well since you seem some what willing to re-track, I’m sure you realize you read the facts from Walmart and not a group of people that just want you the think badly about the President of the United States. I’m sure you realize that the republican controlled congress has not tried to help the nation. They have been to busy trying to make the president look bad. They have done nothing for 8 years, other than run for the presidency.

              Let’s first deport the Canadian. (He doesn’t understand freedom of religion.) Not deporting because of his lack of understanding, but because he has no green card.

              Why blame the President of the United States, when the executive branch was had to managed the government by itself. Don’t let your memory be so short. G. W. left the office with the country in crisis… So much so that private industry had to have the government save them, and they wanted tax payer’s money with no strings, no requirements. Once this president took office and place salary limits on those top employees, CEOs , etc, you see how fast they paid that money back so they could keep making 10 of millions in salary and bonuses. No, the man has done a good job. Give credit where credit is do. Romney claimed he would increase jobs, funny though, his number was less than half what this president has seen created under his watch. The nation made the right choice for president wrong choice for congress.

      2. Right, there are a massive number of adults not the labor force.

        Now…did you bother to consider why? Most are retired or do not wish to work. Many of remaining are unfortunately unable to work due to illness, disability or other reasons. A single-digit share cannot find work. So OMG labor participation is lower (because a bunch of baby boomers have left the labor force).

        You’re citing demographic reality as policy failure.

        1. George Bush went to the same university as John Kerry and graduated with a slightly higher GPA then Kerry and everyone knows Kerry is an idiot. So you’re probably right.

    1. While not specifically Apple/Mac related, I would assume the decline in the brick and mortar retail market is directly caused by the growth in online buying. The percentage of online buying done using iPads is insane. Yes, you can blame Amazon for Walmart’s stumble, but Apple products are definitely an accessory to the crime, er… transaction.

  1. Yes more politically slanted “news” from MDN. Any company would be smart to close 1.4% of their worst performing stores. But this is still Obama’s fault.

    Secondly, maybe this is finally a result of the backlash from people refusing to shop at a store that treats its employees like crap.

    Thirdly, the article itself says their earnings will be down “as it invests further in online operations and pours money into improving customers’ experience”

    Lets also consider Brazil’s economic outlook is pretty weak right now, so no wonder they’d close a bunch of stores there.

    But go ahead and try to pin this on US economic policy.

    1. Where did MDN say this is “Obama’s fault?”

      Project much?

      You sound worried that the lying serial rapist-enabler in a pantsuit won’t have a chance in a U.S. economy that’s flailing after 8 years of bad policies from the feckless weakling Obama. If so, your worries are well founded.

        1. Watching the Sunday morning news now. Scroll headline: Wall Street off to worst start in New Year. No Obama bashing here just because he is POTUS for the last eight years. It’s all the fault of George W. Bush!

          /s 😉

          1. Did you other idiots not finish reading the news report, Walmart will open 300 NEW STORES this year… I wonder how they could possibly open 300 NEW STORES… maybe they made some money this past year.

            Let’s not kid ourselves George W. Bush was a sorry president, but what should one expect when he was not elected to office.

            But his pop was a great president. He saved the nation.

            You people are the same group that reads half of the second amendment… then run out and buy 40 guns like the sheer number you have will keep you safe. You know you have to post that sign on your car, house, etc. “I’ve got 40 guns and I’m scared as hell, but I can only find 39”

  2. Maybe now we are seeing the real impact of a dwindling middle class. Those 1%’ers may need to pay people just a little better (and their CEO’s a lot less) so they HAVE the money to spend and keep the economy thriving. Won’t do anyone any good with a nation of just haves and have-nots.

    1. Whether it’s appropriate Apple news or not, it’s true: People can’t buy anything if they are broke, and corporate america can’t exist without consumers. Shot -> foot.

  3. The growth in the US for Wally World is in groceries and online. The days of easy expansion are over and e-commerce continues to take a huge bite out of brick and mortar retail.

    Next, Wal-Mart in many parts of the US built out in reverse of other chains and started in smaller towns and later came in to the bigger cities. With the shifting preferences of younger adults as to where they choose to live any good retailer needs to adjust their retail footprint. You may not like Wal-Mart, but they know their business very well as they run on very thin margins which means disaster if they are not on top of costs and performance.

    In my town this very week Wal-Mart opened a community market that will do very well if they keep the cleanliness, stocking and customer service high. The incumbents – among them Kroger- in our market are coasting, have been slipping badly in performance, have high fixed labor costs and high prices as well. Wal-Mart now has about a quarter of all grocery sales by Dollar in the US. They have a long way to grow before anyone screams about anti-trust concerns.

    1. This is a minor adjustment for Walmart. Eg, 102 of the 154 US stores being closed are the small-format “express” stores that were opened only in 2011 as an experiment.

      The headline is a bit misleading, too, because Walmart’s business management decision does not portend “gloom & doom” in the retail economy. Yes, 269 stores seems like a huge amount …but not for Walmart. These stores represent less than 1% of Walmart global revenue — and are probably not profitable, ergo: closure.

      I always thought it was just a matter of time before “bricks & mortar” stores grew into “online retailing. Makes sense.

    1. Well, well, narcissist one. Why do we care that you would rather shop at many other stores for the same things and pay higher prices, while increasing the carbon footprint?

      And please, please, spare me the typical LibTardican self-righteous indignation response.

    1. You are way off. Walmart is the quintessential General Store in modern times. Look at the company history and their southern roots. Everything you need in one stop, at low prices, open 24/7. LOVE Walmart. 🙂

  4. If they’re concerned about improving the customer experience, they might try adopting Apple Pay. Resistance is futile and continued resistance will only lead to further alienation of the premium consumer (I.e. iPhone users). It’s bad enough having to plug your nose when entering a Walmart. The made in China toxic fumes caused by cheap plastic everything in that store is torturous, at least let me use the preferred payment method of the premium consumer.

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