Bentonville, Ark. – Wal-Mart said increased productivity and
improved inventory management led to single-digit sales and earnings gains for
its fiscal third quarter, ended Oct. 31.
Net income rose 3.1 percent to nearly $3.4 billion, exceeding
Wal-Mart and Wall Street projections, and net sales edged up 1.1 percent year
over year to $98.7 billion. Including the positive impact of currency
fluctuations, net sales rose 3.8 percent.
In the U.S., net sales at the company’s flagship Walmart stores
rose 1.2 percent to $61.8 billion and same-store sales slipped 0.5 percent,
while operating income increased 6.9 percent due to efficient inventory
management and productivity initiatives. Traffic and market share increased
during the quarter, although same-store sales were below expectations, the
At Sam’s Club, net sales slipped 0.7 percent to $11.5 billion
while same-store sales were essentially flat. The warehouse club division also
improved operating profits and expense management, the retailer reported.
Looking ahead, the company is projecting flat same-store sales at
Walmart for the current quarter, compared with a 2.4 percent increase last
Separately, Wal-Mart said its U.S. Walmart stores have developed
specific crowd control plans to prevent a repeat of last year’s Black Friday
trampling death in New York.
The plans, developed with safety experts from the sports and
entertainment industries, address traffic flow from customer approach and store
entry to check-out and exit.
In addition, all stores will be open for 24 hours for
post-Thanksgiving Day sales events, with Black Friday doorbusters available
beginning at 5 a.m., although most Walmart Supercenter locations are regularly
open around the clock.
Elsewhere, Walmart announced its second one-week,
pre-Thanksgiving CE sales event. Beginning Saturday Nov. 14, shoppers will receive
a $100 Walmart gift card with the purchase of a BlackBerry device and a
two-year subscription with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon Wireless.