Walmart is preparing for more reluctant consumer spending.
As inflation becomes a more pressing concern in the western economy, retailers are bracing themselves for a wave of underwhelming revenue. Compared to the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, where consumers were spending more in retail purchases, consumers are seeking out lower prices and wider selections. You would think that this would be an ideal situation for a discount big-box retailer like Walmart, but even they’re unsure what the future will bring.
During an earnings report this morning, Walmart revealed that they are expecting overall lower revenue for 2023 as rising prices and higher consumer reluctance threaten to impact even the most discount-ready retailers. Walmart is projecting earnings in the range of $5.90 to $6.05 for the remainder of 2023, which is lower than Wall Street analyst expectations.
“There’s still a lot of trepidation and uncertainty with the economic outlook. Balance sheets are continuing to get thinner, savings rate is roughly half of what it was at a pre-pandemic level and we’ve not been in a situation like this where the Fed is raising at the rate that it does,” Walmart Chief Financial Officer John David Rainey said in a statement to Reuters.
Walmart outlook disappoints Wall Street after strong holiday quarter https://t.co/KT2GA8g8RP
— CNBC (@CNBC) February 21, 2023
“So, that makes us cautious on the economic outlook because we simply don’t know what we don’t know.”
Following this report, Walmart’s share value dropped by 0.8%.