Walmart: Gas Prices Hurting Our Shoppers

CEO says customers 'running out of money'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2011 1:12 PM CDT
A woman enters a Walmart store on March 29, 2011 in Valley Stream, New York.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Walmart shoppers are running out of cash, pinched by high gas prices and unemployment, the company’s CEO said this week. “We’re seeing core consumers under a lot of pressure,” Mike Duke said at a retail industry gathering, according to CNN. “There’s no doubt that rising fuel prices are having an impact. … Purchases are really dropping off by the end of the month even more than last year.”

Walmart is sometimes seen as a bellwether for consumer spending, and if that’s the case, the news isn’t good, Duke said. The company has seen sales drop for seven straight quarters, though Duke said part of that was attributable to the company reducing its product selection and not keeping its prices low enough. “What’s made Walmart great over the decades is ‘every day low prices,’” he said. “We got away from it.” (Read more Walmart stories.)

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