VIA THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
“From worker protests to missed earnings targets, 2013 has been a year that Wal-Mart would probably rather forget. The latest bit of bad news: According to a recent report, the world’s largest retailer is scaling back on orders to its suppliers in the face of lackluster sales and overflowing inventory.
The story also pointed out that inventory at Wal-Mart stores had outpaced sales growth, and that the retailer missed out on some sales because it didn’t have enough employees to keep shelves stocked. (Wal-Mart’s workforce has fallen by 120,000 since 2008, despite adding several hundred locations). The company’s same-store sales have dropped for two straight quarters.
The typical Wal-Mart customer has been squeezed the hardest by the sluggish recovery, and Wal-Mart may not be doing enough to accommodate the new economic reality. “If you look at this economy, it’s a train wreck for [the bottom] 80 percent of the American people, and Wal-Mart sells to that 80 percent,” Mr. Davidowitz says. And “77 percent of the new jobs created this year were part-time jobs. We have the lowest full-time labor participation rate in 35 years. Consumers’ incomes are not growing. One of six Americans are in poverty, and another one in six are an inch away from poverty.””