Wal-Mart joins the quarterly results group

DISCUSSION TOPIC

Wal-Mart Ends Monthly Same-Store Sales Report 5/8/09

TOPIC SUMMARY:

Wal-Mart is not the first retailer to decide against reporting monthly same-store sales numbers but being the biggest means it is going to get a lot of attention for doing so.

Tom Schoewe, executive vice president and chief financial officer for the company, explained the decision in a press release. “At the start of this fiscal year, Wal-Mart revised its approach to providing guidance for sales. We went from providing guidance for monthly sales to forecasting a guidance range for our U.S. businesses for the full 13-week period. Moving forward, we will no longer report monthly sales. We will provide comparable store sales results on a 13-week basis, along with guidance for the upcoming 13-week period. And, we will release this information during our scheduled quarterly earnings calls.”

Discussion questions:  What are the ramifications of Wal-Mart Stores decision to not report same-store sales on a monthly basis? Does reporting monthly adversely affect retailers that do it?

My post: 

I applaud the move.  The addiction to monthly results by both shareholders and Wall Street pundits detracts from any retailer’s focus on the long term viability of the business and on improving the customer experience.  I’ve watched too many retailers make terrible short term financial decisions simply to prop up monthly comps and even quarterly earnings per share results.  While it would be more difficult for the casual investor, I would like to see focus on quarterly comps (which Wal-Mart is doing here) and semi-annual earnings per share in order to allow the retailer to focus on strategic long-term results.

Mike Osorio, your Dare to be Contagious! ™ strategist

www.OsorioGroup.com

What do you think?  Please add your comments and add to the discussion!

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Go to the full discussion at RetailWire.com:
http://www.retailwire.com/Discussions/Sngl_Discussion.cfm/13731

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