NEW YORK (
sales aren't expected to recover until the second-half of 2011, according to
Earlier in the week, the discount behemoth reported yet another decline in U.S. same-store sales, War-Mart's fifth consecutive quarterly decrease. According to the poll, 49.6% don't foresee Wal-Mart's sales turning positive until late next year, while 29.5% expect a jump by the first half of 2011.
While the No. 1 retailer forecasts the change in third-quarter same-store sales to fall anywhere between a decline of 2% to an increase of 1%, exactly how it plans on returning to positive sales territory remains unclear.
There's no denying that the aggressive rollbacks put in place during the quarter didn't generate the traffic Wal-Mart expected. Thus, the company will return to its strategy of "everyday low prices."
During the second quarter, Wal-Mart's total revenue rose 2.8% to $103.73 billion, but this fell below analysts' expectations of $105.33 billion. Wal-Mart's U.S. same-store sales dropped 1.8%, at the low range of forecasts.
As a result, only a measly 10.8% of voters believe Wal-Mart's sales will turn positive in the third quarter, while just 7.2% predict an increase in the fourth quarter.
Chief Financial Officer Tom Schoewe said on a call with reporters that the Wal-Mart customer is under such severe pressure that even dramatic discounts are not enough to entice spending.
This does not bode well for the back-to-school and holiday seasons, a time where shoppers are looking to purchase more discretionary items. Wal-Mart has notoriously been struggling with its non-essential merchandise, especially apparel.
-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.
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