retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• Walmart is once again atop the Fortune 500 list of the world’s biggest companies, for the second year in a row for the eighth time in a decade. Exxon Mobil once again is number two.

The crowning comes despite the fact that Walmart has been suffering from stagnant US same-store sales.

Reuters reports that the South African government is looking for “concrete commitments” from Walmart that it will not cut jobs if and when it acquires Massmart, a regional discount chain there.

Walmart is looking to get a foothold in Africa with a $2.3 billion purchase of 51 percent of Massmart.

"We want to ensure that this investment, or this merger, if it takes place, does not have some of the potential negative effects, in terms of job losses in particular," trade minister Rob Davies told Reuters.
KC's View: