Wal-Mart and its rivals are going to get aggressive about discounting as they head into the crucial holiday season
On Nov. 2, a series of discount stores reported anemic sales for October, raising the prospect that lower-income consumers will have to be lured into stores with aggressive discounting. The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart (WMT), led off with a dismal 0.3% increase in same-store sales at its flagship stores in October. Even after adding in a 2% gain at its Sam’s Club division, Wal-Mart’s overall same-store sales climbed a mere 0.5%. Same-store, or comparable-store, sales is a closely watched retail barometer that measures the sales of units open at least a year.