Walmart shareholders haven’t had a great year. Despite a hot market, Walmart stock has been flat and FY 2014 sales were up just 1.6%. But don’t worry: The flat stock performance didn’t hurt pay for Walmart’s top executives! As Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times wrote this weekend, “when it comes to figuring the performance of top executives, let’s just say the numbers can be made to fib.”
Environmental activists from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Environmental Action published a piece in the Huffington Post this week on the current state of Walmart’s environmental efforts, nine years after then-CEO Lee Scott proclaimed that the world’s largest retailer would become a leader on sustainability. An excerpt:
The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) retail report for 2013, released last month, contained bad news for Walmart: The company ranked last in customer satisfaction among discount/department stores, as well as among supermarkets:
The breakdown of Walmart’s “productivity loop” is catching up to the company again, as equities research firm Wolfe Research cited the effect of persistent understaffing among three reasons behind its downgrade of Walmart from “market perform” to “underperform” in a research report this week.
There wasn’t much good news for Walmart in its Q3 earnings release last week, as the company reported negative same store sales for the third consecutive quarter, a decrease in customer traffic, and inventory growth that outpaced sales growth. Executives again pinned the blame on “economic headwinds and fiscal uncertainty,” but this time, for good measure, they also threw in some concern trolling about the Affordable Care Act.
“There’s no substitution for boots on the ground in the store. No substitution. You can have all the technology you want but if you don’t get it out of the back room to the floor when the customer needs it, then that’s a lost cause.” – Drake Jackson, Category Manager (retired), Walmart