Wal-Mart Still Expects Increase in September Sales
Sep 20, 2004
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Wal-Mart Stores still expects a 2- to 4-percent increase in September U.S. sales, despite the effect of Hurricane Ivan in some U.S. regions, according to a Reuters report. Sales of electronics for the week ending Sept. 10 were among the retailer’s strongest U.S. categories.
More than 70 store locations were affected by Hurricane Ivan during the week, but a company spokesperson said that hurricanes are mildly beneficial to sales as consumers stock up on merchandise for the storm and then buy cleanup supplies when it’s over.
Wal-Mart said consumers’ “mid-month paycheck cycle was pronounced this past week,” signaling that shoppers are still cautious about their budgets. The paycheck cycle is closely watched by analysts as an indicator of the health of the U.S. economy.
On Sept. 2, Wal-Mart trimmed its sales expectations for the third-quarter and said earnings would likely reach only the low end of its forecast. The company reported weaker-than-expected sales in August due to a sluggish back-to-school demand.
Wal-Mart’s September sales period runs from Aug. 28 through Oct. 1. (Reuters)
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