Wal-Mart is readying for bumper sales while most US retailers brace themselves for a miserable holiday season, the New York Times reports. Squeezed consumers are flocking to the discount chain as the economic downturn begins to bite. The firm is expected to report a modest increase in sales for October, while most retail chains fear a coming "bloodbath" of huge sales slumps.
Wal-Mart opened Christmas sections in stores in early October, and is aiming to draw value-conscious shoppers away from other firms with heavy discounts. "In my mind, there is no doubt that this is Wal-Mart time," the company's president told a recent meeting of investors. "This is the kind of environment that Sam Walton built this company for.”