The New York Magazine has highlighted Wal-Mart’s recent ineffectiveness in James Cramer’s column, Attention, Wal-Mart Shoppers. Cramer sheds light on the consistent failures of the Wal-Mart company. He highlights what he calls the obvious reasons “low wages, shoddy benefits, predatory pricing versus mom and pop outfits” He even goes as far as saying Wal-Mart and their “anti-union stance that makes Henry Ford look like a Shop Steward for the United Auto Workers.” All and all it’s great to hear the point of view on Wal-Mart from Wall Street’s perspective
Despite the dismal financial performance, which has produced a horridly under performing stock that has flatlined for seven years now, Wal-Mart’s management is in total denial. Almost every month, CEO Lee Scott starts afresh with an optimistic prediction of how the next five weeks will go. Then routinely, at the end of almost every month, the company misses its projections. The worst part is, no one seems the least embarrassed by this performance, least of all Scott himself. Going into October, Wal-Mart predicted 2 to 4 percent sales growth. Then, in early October, the company lowered its projection to 1.3 percent. When it finished the month, Wal-Mart turned out to have gained only half of one percent. This at a moment when almost every other major retailer was meeting or exceeding its higher targets. There was a time when such an overpromise-and-underdeliver phenomenon at this once-smartest of all retailers would have been unthinkable. Now it’s a given. That’s why, for the first time since Sam Walton could visit all of his stores in his beat-up old pickup, it’s worth asking if we are not seeing the twilight, not of the consumer—as so many media pundits speculate because of the incredibly low single-digit growth from Wal-Mart—but of the largest American retailer itself.
The rest of the column rips Wal-Mart’s pathetic attempts to fight back from all the terrible press they receive “…Wal-Mart’s attempts to fight back have been pathetic, to say the least…” It’s a breath of fresh air to know that Wal-Mart isn’t fooling anyone, whether it be their projections or attempts to be more “hip” or trying to go “organic”, their problem lies at the roots, still the largest employer, still a billion dollar company who is discriminating and underpaying workers, still makes no sense how the world’s largest retailer doesn’t provide or make a reasonable attempt to provide health care for their employees.