Bentonville, AR—Walmart cut its full year revenue outlook on Wednesday as it announced a plan to beef up expansion plans for its supercenters in 2015 and increasing online investments.
Citing the touch economy which has been hit particularly hard on the low income customers for the store, Walmart now expects now expects annual sales to be up 2% to 3% for its fiscal year ending in January. That is down from its earlier guidance of sales growth at the low end of a 3% to 5% range.
The lowered expectations loom ominously as the all-important holiday season kicks off net month. Due to stagnant wages and reduced government food stamps, Walmart has seen its business hurt in its Walmart stores where there’s been no growth in comp store sales figures for six straight quarters.
Wal-Mart’s shift away from its supercenters toward small stores and online also underscores how it must respond aggressively to a new era of shopping: Consumers are increasingly moving to mobile devices, while at the same time they’re seeking the convenience of small stores.
“We’ll give customers the choices they want and need by integrating digital and physical retail,” said Doug McMillon, Walmarts president/ceo. “We won’t be just a store on the street. We’ll support our customers’ lives with them in the driver’s seat, to save them money and time.”
McMillon said that while Wal-Mart is facing some economic headwinds, he also noted there’s a lot of room to improve store operations.
To help, Walmart must pay close attention to maintain stock levels and speeding up checkout lines. The company said it is adding more cash registers for holiday
“There’s no excuse for us not to be doing better,” McMillon said.