Wal-Mart boss says petrol price drop helping store traffic
The Chief Executive of Wal-Mart operations in the US, Eduardo Castro-Wright, yesterday said that customers are coming in to the retailer’s stores more frequently now that petrol prices have fallen. He said that as petrol prices rose this year, shoppers cut down on trips to its rural stores. But as petrol prices fell in October, Wal-Mart saw an increase in traffic to both its rural and urban stores, he said. While customers are coming into its stores more frequently, they are not necessarily spending less during their visits, a trend that should favour the retailer. Castro-Wright said Wal-Mart is looking beyond the traditional notion of a consumable to drive sales of items like socks, weather stripping or motor oil that have a "consumption pattern. We define that as a major opportunity for us," he said. Wal-Mart is also working on developing a "high efficiency" retail format that would have higher sales per square foot than some its current stores. The executive said Wal-Mart is also looking at using smaller-sized stores to enter markets where it does not have a presence today.
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