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Wal-Mart executives sweat slow start to February sales

By Bloomberg News

This article was published February 15, 2013 at 1:48 p.m.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. had the worst sales start to a month in seven years as payroll-tax increases hit shoppers already battling a slow economy, according to internal e-mails obtained by Bloomberg News.

“In case you haven’t seen a sales report these days, February MTD sales are a total disaster,” Jerry Murray, Wal-Mart’s vice president of finance and logistics, said in a Feb. 12 e-mail to other executives, referring to month-to-date sales. “The worst start to a month I have seen in my ~7 years with the company.”

Wal-Mart and discounters such as Family Dollar Stores Inc. are bracing for a rise in the payroll tax to take a bigger bite from the paychecks of shoppers already dealing with elevated unemployment. The world’s largest retailer’s struggles come after executives expected a strong start to February because of the Super Bowl, milder weather and paycheck cycles, according to the minutes of a Feb. 1 officers meeting Bloomberg obtained.

Murray’s comments about February sales follow disappointing results from January, a month that Cameron Geiger, senior vice president of Wal-Mart U.S. Replenishment, said he was relieved to see end, according to a separate internal e-mail obtained by Bloomberg News.

“As with any organization, we often see internal communications that are not entirely accurate, that lack the proper context and represent individual opinions,” David Tovar, a Wal-Mart spokesman, said in an interview, adding that the company will report fourth-quarter earnings Feb. 21. Wal-Mart’s fourth quarter ends in January.

Murray and Geiger didn’t immediately return telephone and e-mail messages seeking comment.

Comments on: Wal-Mart executives sweat slow start to February sales

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DontDrinkDatKoolAid says... February 16, 2013 at 12:30 a.m.

Oh we have not seen anything yet.

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Jackabbott says... February 16, 2013 at 8:55 a.m.

Well, I guess China is shaking in its trillion dollars boots???? Lots of their junk going unsold for a couple of weeks- the end of the world is coming.
You have to appreciate the logic here, these guys including China were making money using funds that should have been funding the retirement of these people on SS.

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