Walmart Is Falling Apart Before Our Eyes…(‘Bout Time!!)

Sunday, May 18, 2014
By Paul Martin

By Travis Hoium
Fool.com
May 17, 2014

For most of the past five decades, Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT ) has been the retailer competitors feared most and as a result it made for a phenomenal investment for its shareholders. But Wal-Mart has begun to lose its cache with consumers and major holes are starting to form in its business.

Interestingly, Wal-Mart has hidden its financial problems from the headlines because challenges are different around the world, masking themselves in the overall picture. But when you dig between the headlines you can see a company in serious trouble and could be the latest in a long line of leading retailers to go from boom to bust in the blink of an eye.

U.S. shoppers are abandoning Wal-Mart

The most alarming statistic at home in the U.S. comes from falling same-store sales. This measures how sales are growing location by location and any healthy retailer is looking to grow same-store sales at or faster than consumer spending grows because that shows increased market share locally. Overall sales can be increased by increasing store count, but if same-store sales are falling then the return on each store will drop, something well see in a minute.

Below, I’ve built a table that shows year-over-year changes in same-store sales at U.S. Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores compared to the growth in consumer spending on goods. You can see that Wal-Mart is growing far slower than what consumers spend on goods and has been consistently negative over the past year.

The Rest…HERE

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