Wal-Mart: "Families Are Adjusting To A Reduced Paycheck And Increased Gas Prices"

Tyler Durden's picture

Moment ago Wal-Mart reported a top-line miss, a bottom line beat, a dividend hike and a rather subdued full year forecast ($5.20-$5.40 on Exp. of $5.39), and nobody cared. The only thing that algos and carbon-based lifeforms alike honed in on, was the recap of the most recent 13 week period, to see if WMT was only kidding when it said that February sales, which obviously were not part of Q4 results, were a "total disaster." The reason WMT's stock is not doing to well in the pre-market is that they did not like what they found.

Here is the key section:

"We are confident that our low prices will continue to resonate, as families adjust to a reduced paycheck and increased gas prices," Simon said. "We see the underlying health of the Walmart U.S. business is sound, and sales trends are similar to what we've demonstrated in the last few quarters. However, February sales started slower than planned, due in large part, to the delay in income tax refunds. We began seeing increased tax refund check activity late last week in our stores, resulting in a more normalized weekly sales pattern for this time of the year. Due to the slower sales rate in the first few weeks of this year's first quarter, we are forecasting comp sales for the 13-week period from Jan. 26 to Apr. 26, 2013 to be around flat. We continue to monitor economic conditions that can impact our sales, such as rising fuel prices, changes in inflation and the payroll tax increase."

One can hope that all the other retailers in the US, which are just as dependant on the consumer's discretionary revenue stream which is now certifiably less, will adjust just as well.

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GetZeeGold's picture





Paging Charlie Sheen.....cleanup on aisle 5.

Supernova Born's picture

Walmart shoppers might not have advanced degrees, but like animals before an earthquake, they can sense a deep and ominous rumbling beneath their feet.

TruthInSunshine's picture

If consumers are feeling less Hope, and scrounging their couch cushions for more Change NOW, as Heath Ledger playing the Joker in The Dark Knight Rises said:

"Just wait until they get a load of [Nominal GDP Targeting Discussed at the G-20]."

Central Banks Discussed Nominal GDP Targets* at G-20 (Businessweek)

*Nominal GDP Price Targeting is central bankster code talk for unleash the tsunami of inflation, which as most of you know, is born of absolute desperation as things "fall apart."

Here's a central bank joke that's relevant for today:

Q:   What does a central fractional reserve bank do when confronted with an absolute, objectively provable failure of massive program having massive adverse consequences?

A:   More of the same.

SafelyGraze's picture

high unemployment? check.

government incentives to locate bizness? check.

militarist clock punching? check.

lower-er wages paid in devaluing currency? check.

coverage by "socialist website"? check and check.



BLOTTO's picture

The average US Wal-Mart customer's income is below the national average, and analysts recently estimated that more than one-fifth of them lack a bank account, twice the national rate.




(Please take the wiki reference with grain of salt for reliable info...of course...)

MachoMan's picture

In other words, the first people eaten by the grinder otherwise known as cost-push inflation.

McMolotov's picture

That deep and ominous rumbling is usually the 400-lb woman on the scooter behind you.

Evolution Gene's picture

Hope they keep the bagz of Cheeze-It's on the lower shelf...

JackT's picture

Won't be long until that $5.39 exp. is forgotten

NoDebt's picture

You're not getting poorer, it's your memory that is playing tricks on you.  Grab your tax refund check, click your heels 3 times and off to a Kansas WalMart you go.


Bad Attitude's picture

I would have expected Walmart to be the prime beneficiary of the increasing enrolements in SNAP/Food-Stamps.


Son of Loki's picture
Florida to expand Medicaid under health overhaul


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Gov. Rick Scott announced plans Wednesday to expand Medicaid coverage to roughly 900,000 more people under the federal health overhaul, a surprise decision from the vocal critic of President Barack Obama's plan.





Open your wallets...be generous....the "funny" side effect of adding millions of people to Medicaid is fewer and fewer doctors accept this insurance anymore. I can't blame them. Getting paid 10 cents on the dollar ain't no fun for them. Fewer then 6% of the docs in my town accept M/M nowadays.

GeezerGeek's picture

The Scott plan only extends for three years, during which the Federal contribution to Florida's Medicaid plan will be 100%. Thereafter it is to slide to 90%, and Scott has chosen to decline commiting to taxing Floridians 3 years in the future. Besides, he's up for reelection soon and has to fend off challenges to his compassion. One of the names being floated around as his opposition is Charlie Crist, the ex-Republican ex-governor Obama-hugger who lost to Senator Marco Rubio.


Desert Rat's picture

Cant wait for the 27th to see if the glow has faded from TGT as well...

dobermangang's picture

The real disaster will be JCP.  Let's see how their "everyday low prices" campaign fares when their lack of earnings report comes out on the 27th.

Desert Rat's picture

Oh yeah, no doubt JCP is f'ed... TGT is at least an analogue to WMT... 

disabledvet's picture

if they fail (and i would like to tell you they will not) it's because they've done the right thing. "standing around looking like a jack ass" is a bad way to bankrupt as a retailer...though the most common. I'm not a bear even if i get my 40% down move. "everyday low prices" is part of the value equation...and Penney's is going the extra mile by trying to "bring forward" something "not stale." Wal Mart is not alone...fighting for the PENNIES of these US based consumers is going to be a real challenge this year...hopefully not next of course. the Government has ordered the American people to stop spending...and they are obliging. there are so many ways to...ahem "give" ahem...so much more than already is being done...well, we'll just have to wait and see. with Sequestration just days away "it's about to get a lot harder." (it would be a lot worse without Sequestration in my view.) i have a hard time seeing how energy prices are going to be a problem going forward...but i look forward to being wrong on that one too.

LawsofPhysics's picture

"i have a hard time seeing how energy prices are going to be a problem going forward.."


Why, are the 7 billion+ people on the planet who are demanding/seeking a higher standard of living going anywhere?  Stop being so "merica-centric", there is plenty of demand for energy on the planet.  So long as there is demand, the "price" will hold (econ 101).  I use quotations around price because in many cases folks are already trading things like chickens for some fuel.  Welcome to global currency collapse, but should we have expected anything else from a fiat world where fraud is now the status quo?

MachoMan's picture

Look at it this way, what seems to increase in price and hit peaks just about the time the broader economy rolls over?  One might say that increased "energy" prices aren't a big deal because the price will eventually be reduced to the level of affordability (of course ignoring that producers along the way are having margins compressed to the point of insolvency as well as the "who" gets to afford it).  However, in order to get what you want, the broader economy will need to be in shambles first (moreso than it is already)...  on a fundamental product like that, the destruction to economic activity in general is astounding.  It's gas prices that dictate demand, not vice versa, although elasticity does have a breaking point.

I also suspect (without actually plotting it) that we're becoming more and more susceptible to gasoline price shocks.  In other words, the economy is less and less able to deal with price increases.  Behavior begins changing in reaction to price increases more quickly than previously (less savings/security), but slower to price decreases than previously (slower recovery). 

Edward Fiatski's picture

Bread without butter, bitchez.

GetZeeGold's picture



No butter and no ammo......this place is going downhill fast.

gkoinm's picture

True.  I think they are also underestimating the number of people (like myself) who will not step into another WalMart since they stopped selling ammo....

TheMerryPrankster's picture

Marie, was told the peasants were getting angry because they had no bread to eat, she replied, if they had no bread let them eat cake.

The French Revolution started 3 weeks later and Marie was beheaded.

McMolotov's picture

In a world where the specter of inflation can be whisked away by the magic of product substitution, bread and butter will soon be replaced by generic saltines and used vegetable oil.

But at least the government will be able to tell us the CPI is under 2%.

Tango in the Blight's picture

They better invent robot consumers quickly. The human consumers are increasingly more insolvent and at the end of their credit lines.

Whoa Dammit's picture

A local TV news on-line poll here in Atlanta asked how many miles were on people's cars. 44% had over 100,000 miles, Followed by 28% with 50,000 to 100,000 miles. 

Consumers are about to be literally stopped in their tracks.

MachoMan's picture

Sounds like we need to clean out those old beaters with another cash for clunkers...  might also help with the channel stuffing issue.

Sudden Debt's picture


.                                                                       J. HANNIBAL



HD's picture

I pity the fool who doesn't get this reference...

venturen's picture

I saw bernanke piling new stuff into a dumpster in front of all is Wellmart.. 

Son of Loki's picture

Free money from the Fed for banks is the only thing that matters these days. Walmart is not in that 'favored' group...neither is (was) Hostesss. Walmart needs to follow Bankfein's lead and convert into a bank holding company...then sales/revenue will no longer matter.

John McCloy's picture

Alright..now when's our next EU bond non repayment crisis set to bring some entertainment?

max2205's picture

If you don't pay taxes how do you get a refund? 

HD's picture

"Turbo Tax worked for me!"  Tim G. from Washington D.C

Teamtc321's picture

Simple, shit out a whole slew of kid's.

sunnyside's picture

Earned Income Credits (EIC), which is in fact not earned, but given freely.

Alpha Monkey's picture

You live off the GI Bill with no other reported income and claim expenses for school.  Thank you for your moneees! 

Sudden Debt's picture

Maybe they're all eating their freezedried food they where stacking for that Mayan end of time shit thing?


knukles's picture

Mommy, can I have some more Tang, please?


mommy, daddys out inthe garage drinking that agent orange and acting goofy again

Ima anal sphincter's picture

Families are getting raped by the government. "All your money is ours."

How many times must we get kicked in the head before we say ENOUGH?

Cursive's picture

Translation:  Our business is entirely dependent on the government, which drove the public into poverty and now sends subsistence checks to the plebs.  At least we drove out local businesses by getting property tax exemptions from muncipalities and counties and municipal bus lines re-routed to our stores, so we own most of the underclass markets!

disabledvet's picture

Gary, Indiana...say hello to the USA. USA? Say hello to Gary, Indiana.

Bobbyrib's picture

It wasn't just the government that drove the public into poverty, it was the policies of companies like WalMart to push production overseas to offer the cheapest products on the market. I do not feel sorry for these fuckers one bit. You reap what you sow.

notadouche's picture

Yeah forcing competition is a bitch when your on the losing side.  How many years was America on the winning side and no one complained then.  Our society is supposedly built on competition that is until the government started picking the winners and losers which threw the entire system out of balance.  Hard to blame Walmart for that.

kridkrid's picture

I think you're one step removed from the answer. A sort of "what came first, the chicken or the egg".... but Wal Mart simply represented the logical evolution within a system that requires infinite growth on a planet with finite resources. Local retailers weren't capable of the growth that the system required... and certainly locally manufactured products couldn't provide the growth that the system required... SO.... Wal Mart. And if it wasn't Wal Mart, it would have been someone else.

The problem... the system still requires infinite growth... and I'm not sure there is another step beyond "globalization" to get us there.

MachoMan's picture

Walmart typically sells OTHER PEOPLES' PRODUCTS.  If they offshore in order to meet their profit desires, then so be it...  walmart will then sell goods from wherever the manufacturers decide they want them produced.  Walmart has changed some things about its business model (private label products, partnerships with producers, consignment, etc.), but the gist is that it's simply a brick and mortar forum for others to push their wares.

And don't feel sorry for walmart...  feel sorry for the folks that can't even afford to shop at a low cost leader (although walmart isn't necessarily the lowest anymore on quite a few goods).  Presuming of course they're not deadbeats and their situation is largely derived from poor personal choices.

CPL's picture

And they are still completely unable to make a profit.


Sad huh?

sunnyside's picture

I think of this when I think about the post office.  They are almost like a utility.  What are your costs, set your fees, pay a dividend. It cannot get any easier.

I truly don't give a rats ass what you pay your people or 27 layers of management, just know what way your volume is trending to and that is what a stamp is going to cost.  My 14 year old son could balance their books.  You may not like a letter costing 1.50, but if you choose to have labor and management on the pay scale that you do, then so be it.  Let the market decide.  The post office currently is the poster child of why gov't cannot work effectively.  They do not understand P/L, and therefore will not make the hard decisions regarding pricing or expenses.