Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) CEO Doug McMillon feels that the economy is not moving that much. In CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday, McMillon said that “the 2 percent to 3 percent growth range number” is like “kind of perpetual”. He added that looking forward to the next year, he feels there is no semblance of difference from the past years.
While McMillon’s outlook may seem a bit negative, other observers, and consumers in particular, are practically having the same thoughts. For instance, a poll by Reuters found out that while gas prices have indeed lowered in time for the holiday season, it does not necessarily mean that consumers are willing to spend more.
The poll, conducted between November 12 to November 17 and covering 1,707 respondents, indicates that 60 percent of the population are not willing to part with their money these holidays due to perceptions of “economic uncertainty”. According to McMillon, retailers still see the cycle pay trend where sales goes up only at the first of the month. Retailers like Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), among others, have hoped that the decrease in gas price will help in boosting sales. McMillon notes that while lower gas prices have helped retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), consumers are still financially stretched facing concerns such as health care bill and debt payments.
McMillon also talked about the impact of e-commerce in retailing, claiming that as much as 10 percent of of mobile orders come from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) shoppers. During Thanksgiving up to Cyber Monday, Wal-Mart reported that it has seen customers view 1.5 billion pages at Walmart.com, with mobile traffic accounting for 70 percent. The trend towards e-commerce is the determining factor in Wal-Mart’s decision to back down from constructing more of its Supercenters in the years ahead.
This article has been written by Nonito Guntan.
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