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Why Are Consumers Fleeing Walmart?


As markets rise, freshly emboldened consumers leave the discount retailer in droves.

The Great Recession's impact on sales of US retailers has been, well, not so great.

But not all retailers have been slammed.

There are a handful of companies that actually benefit from economic downturns. Walmart (WMT), for example, posted positive same-store sales gains in four of the first six quarters of the recession as shoppers traded down from more expensive stores.

In an ironic twist, as markets improve and customers begin to feel more optimistic, the discount retailer is feeling a pinch. US same-store sales dropped in all but two of the last 13 quarters.

Walmart's chief competitors seem to be experiencing similar troubles, with Costco (COST) and BJ's Wholesale Club (BJ) recently posting disappointing quarterly earnings. On the other hand, Target's (TGT) same-store sales rose 2.4% in February, above analysts' expectations.

So what does Walmart need to do to get back on its feet?

Join Josh Lipton for a closer look.

Tune in to a new episode of Pop Biz every Monday. You can also follow Pop Biz on Twitter to make sure you don't miss an episode.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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