Wal-Mart Reinforces its Reputation as Discount Leader
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is cutting prices on thousands of products in an aggressive campaign to reinforce its reputation as a discount leader, as the company seeks to reverse months of slowing U.S. sales. The world's largest retailer was a rare beneficiary of the economic downturn, as large numbers of bargain-hungry Americans, including many middle-class families, flocked to its supercenters from supermarkets and specialty clothing stores. Wal-Mart's sales at U.S. stores open a year or more have edged lower recently, while other retailers have started to see an uptick in consumers' discretionary spending. That suggests to some analysts that Wal-Mart is having trouble hanging on to middle-class shoppers.