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NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Mike Duke, the CEO of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., received a pay package in 2011 worth $18.1 million, a 3 percent dip from the year before, according to an Associated Press calculation, mainly because his performance-based cash bonus shrank.
The dip in compensation came even as Wal-Mart reversed a more than two-year sales slump in its namesake business as it emphasized low prices across the store and restored thousands of items that it had culled during its campaign three years ago to declutter its stores.
Duke, 62, who has been Wal-Mart's CEO since February 2009, received a base salary of $1.3 million, up almost 3 percent, and stock awards worth $13.1 million, up 3 percent from fiscal 2010. But Duke's cash-based performance bonus fell 25 percent to $2.88 million in the fiscal year ended Jan. 31 because the company's operating income fell short of goals established in the compensation plan, according to documents filed Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Wal-Mart's operating income growth has been hurt because the company's aggressive moves to cut prices to better compete with rivals have hurt gross profit margins.
Duke's other compensation amounted to $377,258, down 21 percent from $476,567 in the previous year. The perks included $99,861 for the use of the company aircraft. He also received $544,523 in above-market interest credited on deferred compensation.
Wal-Mart, which draws nearly 10 percent of all nonautomotive spending in the U.S., is operating in a more difficult environment since the recession on all fronts. Dollar stores, which have expanded their assortments, are blanketing the country, and Amazon.com's vast selection and low prices are stealing Wal-Mart's key advantages.
Meanwhile, rising gas prices and other household costs are squeezing shoppers' budgets and making it tougher to stretch their remaining dollars to the next payday. A still stubbornly high unemployment rate has also hurt its core shoppers. But Wal-Mart's strategy of going back to its roots of "everyday low prices," instead of resorting to slashing prices on select items, has helped to rebuild its reputation as a low price leader and bolster its namesake U.S business. Its U.S Walmart division accounts for 62 percent of total sales.