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Market research firm Blueocean Market Intelligence is out with a new report that it says explains “how changes in consumer shopping habits are impacting sales at the world’s largest retailer.” The question was why during recessionary times, when Walmart might be expected to outperform many of its competitors, the retailer saw its US same store sales decline for six consecutive quarters.

Key findings include:

“Many Walmart shoppers are spending less overall, due to continued pessimism about the economy.”

“A decline in Walmart shopping trips appears to be driven by customer loss rather than reduced shopping frequency among current customers.”

“Among those leaving Walmart, more than half don’t view Walmart as the ‘low-price leader’.”

“Many who have reduced their Walmart spending report they are finding competitors more affordable and convenient.”

“Project Impact, a remodeling effort designed to attract higher income shoppers and reduce clutter, has negatively affected customers’ attitudes about Walmart’s variety and brand selection.”

“Walmart isn’t well positioned for economic recovery. Price alone may not lure shoppers from competitors, as most believe Walmart lags on service, variety and quality.”

“While overall sales have declined, customers are spending more in select departments including grocery, pet, health and beauty, baby products, and toys and games.”

KC's View:
There seems to be a growing consensus that Walmart’s leadership has misread the current competitive environment and mapped out a strategy that has not worked.

The question I keep hearing whispered is when Walmart’s current leadership pays the price for its mistakes. It is just whispers at then moment....but undeniable in some circles.