Frigid weather and cuts in food stamps that kept customers away from Walmart and Sam’s Club stores, plus unanticipated international expense hikes, have led to lower-than-expected sales, the Bentonville, Ark.-based company announced Thursday.
Same-store sales at Walmart and Sam’s Club stores were expected to be flat, but will do worse, the company said.
The news comes on the heels of the announcement of 2,300 layoffs at Sam’s Club stores.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. doesn’t tend to make announcements like this — instead usually beating or at least meeting its forecasts — indicating that it is not usually taken by surprise. It looks as though incoming CEO Doug McMillon will be entering something of a dark tunnel when he takes over Feb. 1.