Ending eight consecutive quarters of losses, Wal-Mart is about to announce that customers are returning to the retail giant.
If so, this will be a vindication for Wal-Mart executives who last April put an end to a five year liberal left experiment to inject pricey “green” and politically correct products into the stores.
Out went the low cost jeans. In came holistic and organic foods, environmentally “natural” clothing and so-called fair trade products. Of course all of these products cost more.
And in droves Wal-Mart’s customers fled for the exits.
As I quoted an ex-Wal-Mart executive in a posting last April:
“The basic Wal-Mart customer didn’t leave Wal-Mart. What happened is that Wal-Mart left the customer.”
The genius behind the Wal-Mart “green” makeover was former Al Gore communications director Leslie Dach. He brought in environmentalists, ecologists and liberal economists. They convinced the company to sell according to their preconceived ideas of justice, not to market needs.
The result was a disaster. But last April Wal-Mart changed course and inaugurated a “Back to Basics” campaign. They informed poor and middle class consumers that the affordable stuff like cheap jeans and food were back.
Yesterday Wal-Mart executives told financial analysts the company will break eight consecutive quarters of loss and finally see a rise in same store sales. And this during a recession.
Comparable store sales at U.S. Wal-Mart stores have been positive for the past three months, leaving Wal-Mart on track to report an end to its domestic slump .
The three month period perfectly tracks the “Back to Basics” turnabout.
It’s interesting when you listen to the market.