While other retailers are slogging through the triple whammy of an economic downturn, rising gas and food prices and a deep housing slump, Wal-Mart has benefited by drawing in shoppers who previously spurned the retailer and retaining the business of those who say they dislike shopping there. Its share price is up and same-store sales, a key measure of a retailer’s health, have improved.
Simply put, a weak economy may turn out to be Wal-Mart’s strong suit. Wal-Mart spokeswoman Melissa O’Brien says the retailer has “absolutely” benefited from the fact that more Americans need to pinch pennies. But she thinks the company’s efforts to make shopping there more appealing — including extensively remodeling stores, working to improve customer service and revamping the product mix — also have helped keep them coming back.
Weak economy may be Wal-Mart’s strong suit – Retail – msnbc.com
There was a time when Betsy Baker would have been embarrassed to be seen shopping at Wal-Mart.
But that was a few years ago, before the price of gold shot up and the economy slowed, all but ruining her family jewelry business. And it was before her monthly house payments skyrocketed to $3,800 a month from $1,800, and she found herself trying to get rid of a house that is worth substantially less than she paid for it. It was before her family conceded that they could not escape their economic woes without filing for bankruptcy.