Wal-Mart Sam’s Club boss optimistic for Black Friday
The Chief Executive of Wal-Mart-owned Sam’s Club, Doug McMillon, yesterday said that Black Friday sales and store traffic will rise this year as US consumers who delayed purchases in the past few weeks finally head to stores to take advantage of retail deals, "In the past few weeks, people have been waiting for (Black) Friday and the prices that they're going to see between now and Christmas." McMillon sees an opportunity for higher sales at Sam's Club and other retailers. Shoppers browsing for items like TVs have been thinking, "Why would I buy one on 12 November when I can buy one in two weeks and it's going to be cheaper?" he said. Sam's Club's advantage in this economy is that it sells more than one type of merchandise, according to McMillon. "If I had to make a living exclusively on jewellery or exclusively on apparel, it would be hard, I don't care who you are," he said. "In our business, if they want to buy milk, we sell them milk. If they want to buy rotisserie chicken we sell them that, and if they want a flat panel TV, we've got that too." He said Sam's Club is now changing its merchandising plans for 2009 based on how shoppers navigate the current environment. For instance, it will stock fewer high-priced patio furniture items this spring. "We believe people will still invest in their homes, will still decorate, but they will be less likely to be buying a USD1,000 patio set," he said. "So we pulled our receipts back there, but invested more into vases, urns and accessories."
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