Walmart Friday said bad weather and cuts in food stamp support for the poor weighed on US sales and would hit earnings for its November-January fourth quarter.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer and the country’s largest single private sector employer, said it now expects sales at its namesake US stores and its Sam’s Club chain to be “slightly negative” for the quarter, which included the crucial holiday shopping period.
Previously the company forecast “relatively flat” sales at Walmarts and 0-2 percent growth at Sam’s Clubs.

Walmart reports fourth-quarter earnings on February 20. The company had previously forecast underlying earnings of $1.60-$1.70 per share.
“Despite a holiday season that delivered positive comps, two factors contributed to lower comp sales performance,” said Walmart chief financial officer Charles Holley — referring to sales at comparable stores.
Holley cited deeper-than-expected cuts to benefits under the US Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — food support for the poor — and heavy weather in some areas that had forced some temporary store closings and kept consumers away.
Walmart also announced an additional 16 cents per share in costs related to one-time issues including Brazilian tax reviews and costs for Sam’s Club staff restructuring and store closures.
Dow component Walmart was down 1.0 percent to $74.01 in opening trade Friday.
Walmart warns: Food stamp cuts hurt our profits | The Raw Story


Walmart To Lay Off 2,300 Sam's Club Employees

Walmart plans to lay off roughly 2,300 employees of Sam's Club, the retail giant's membership-only club, CNBC reported via Twitter Friday. A large number of those getting laid off will be assistant managers at stores with weak sales, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Sam's Club on its own is the eighth largest retailer in the country, according to the company's website. More from the Associated Press:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is eliminating 2,300 workers at its Sam's Club division as it reduces the ranks of middle managers in a bid to be more nimble.

The layoffs, which cut 2 percent of the membership club's employee count of about 116,000, mark the largest since 2010 when the Sam's Club unit laid off 10,000 workers as it moved to outsource food demonstrations at its stores.

Bill Durling, a spokesman at Sam's Club, says that a little less than half of the cuts were aimed at salaried assistant managers. It is also eliminating some hourly workers.

The cuts come as Sam's Club strives to compete with Costco Wholesale Corp. and online players like's Prime membership service. Wal-Mart is based in Bentonville, Ark.
Walmart To Lay Off 2,300 Sam's Club Employees

So how a huge multi national corporation like Walmart needs food stamps (government subsidies) so bad?

How the chairman of Walmart Stores is sitting on. Alice and Jim Walton each have about $20 billion, and Christy Walton has $24 billion, when 2300 employees are going to lose their jobs?

I thought the economy was recovering...