As Sales Slump, Wal-Mart Cuts Prices

Watchers see ploy to hold on to middle class post-recession
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2010 11:42 AM CDT
As Sales Slump, Wal-Mart Cuts Prices
A Wal-Mart in Brunswick, Maine.   (AP Photo)

Wal-Mart will discount around 10,000 items in the face of dipping sales, even as other retailers report increases in business. The move could be a ploy to hang on to middle-class shoppers, who flocked to the big-box behemoth in the depths of the recession but have been upgrading as the economic outlook brightens, analysts tell the Wall Street Journal. Not so, says Wal-Mart.

The chain says the falloff in revenue is simply due to the lower cost of its wares, and that the price reductions, mostly on food and other necessities, are intended to “increase the intensity and excitement with our customer.” Experts wonder whether the move, which includes boastful signs in stores and a PR campaign touting cost-cutting measures, will work. Surveys show most people already think Wal-Mart has some of the lowest prices around. (More Walmart stories.)

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