retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Los Angeles Times reports that in Walmart's most recent annual report, it identified ""changes in the amount of payments made under the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Plan and other public assistance plans, (and) changes in the eligibility requirements of public assistance plans" as being a factor that could materially impact its future performance.

According to the story, "Wal-Mart followers say this is the first time the company has made a disclosure like that," though "one interesting sidelight of Wal-Mart's disclosure is that it doesn't actually discuss how the company benefits from public assistance programs by sticking the U.S. taxpayer with the bill for keeping its workforce fed and clothed."

The Times piece goes on to say that "Wal-Mart says it gets more than half its sales from its grocery departments. Since low-income shoppers are a big part of its clientele, it's unsurprising that that squealing you hear is coming from its annual report." However, the Times writes, "There's no indication that Wal-Mart executives stepped up to the plate during the debate in Washington to warn Congress off these cuts in assistance to its customers."
KC's View:
No real surprise here, except for maybe the candor. But it points out yet another challenge to the Bentonville Behemoth …