retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Bloomberg reports that Walmart “raised prices on hundreds of toys this month, squeezing more out of sales during the biggest shopping period of the year.

“Wal-Mart managers in the U.S. received instructions to mark up an average of 1,800 types of toys per store, according to a company e-mail dated Nov. 30 obtained by Bloomberg News. The e-mail didn’t disclose specific increases. The prices were changed ‘to better enable your store and the company to have a successful financial month,’ according to the e-mail ... The move may help Chief Executive Officer Mike Duke fulfill his October prediction that sales in U.S. stores open at least a year will be positive this quarter, after six straight drops.”

According to the story, “The price increases were due to temporary discounts on products, including toys, that ended Nov. 30, Ravi Jariwala, a spokesman for Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart, said in an interview. He declined to elaborate on the message’s reference to a successful financial month.”
KC's View:
If Walmart has a core value, it is low prices on Main Street. If it is raising prices and margins so it can look good to Wall Street, that violates a covenant it has with shoppers. And to quote my favorite Latin proverb, “Trust, like the soul, never returns once it goes.”