Walmart February sales are the worst since 2007, say Walmart executives in leaked emails blaming expiration of payroll tax cuts and lateness of income tax refunds (due to our paralyzed Congress) as primary reasons.
“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.”
Some are a bit skeptical of these reports. However, they were from leaked emails so presumably the execs were being honest with each other. Thus this doesn’t seem to be a political ploy. Rising gas prices and stealth inflation could easily also be factors.
Walmart is the 800 pound gorilla of retail. For them to have sudden, unexpected bad sales is a bad harbinger. We have a Congress that appears incapable of doing much of anything and Obama has done little to help the economy at large. So maybe the Walmart news shouldn’t come as much of a surprise after all.