Sunday, May 10, 2009

Walmart won't report monthly

Walmart says that the purpose is to allow the chain to focus longer-term, rather than concentrating on justifying very short-term changes in sales.

I'm a bit of a crank on the subject of short-term thinking -- I blame it for a lot of the ills in American business (probably even more that it deserves). So I approve of Walmart's thinking -- having to justify sales blips to Wall Street every month probably motivates a lot of poor decisions.

A number of other retailers have moved in this direction recently (Eddie Lambert of Sears took heat for doing this a few months back, as I recall).
Over the past year, about a half dozen retailers have done so, but they mainly are specialty retailers such as AnnTaylor Stores Corp., Guess Inc., Bebe Stores Inc., Cache Inc. and Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. Analysts say many of the stores acted because their comparable-store-sales were deteriorating and it is more of a cost drain compared to better-capitalized large retailers.

Macy's Inc., among the biggest retailers in the nation, stopped dispensing same-store-sales figures in February 2008 but started again last October.
But what will all us nerds do if we can’t obsess over monthly sales figures?

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