- The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that Wal-Mart is blaming a poor November performance on a decision to scale back promotional discounts and embark on a program too similar to those years in years past.
"We are disappointed with our sales performance for the Friday after Thanksgiving and the full weekend," Mona Williams, vice president of communications for Wal-Mart, said in a statement. "While our prices were generally as low as they have ever been, our competition was even more aggressive. Also in hindsight we can see our overall program was too predictable and our competition capitalized on this. Specifically, our store hours, newspaper advertising-circular layout and distribution, marketing strategies and especially our merchandising selection were too similar to [those of] years past."
- Wal-Mart has filed a motion with the US Circuit Court of Appeals asking that a gender discrimination lawsuit be denied class action status. The filing concerns a case in which Wal-Mart is accused of denying women equal pay and promotions, and which – if class action status is upheld – could end up representing 1.6 million women.
The appeals court already had agreed to review a ruling that allowed class action status, and this move by Wal-Mart was expected.
- The Associated Press says that Wal-Mart plans to open at least 11 new stores in China next year.
The company currently has 42 stores in 20 Chinese cities -- a mix of Supercenters, neighborhood stores and Sam’s Club units.