Leaked Walmart emails from Walmart executives call February a “total disaster” and “The worst start to a month I have seen in my ~7 years with the company.” The publication of the leaked emails in a Feb. 16, 2013, Bloomberg News report has consumers, other retailers, and shareholders wondering, is the economy not quite as rosy as some would like consumers to believe?
Consumer confidence is the foundation for not only Walmart but many businesses. If executives lack confidence, there is not much more one can expect from consumers.
“’In case you haven’t seen a sales report these days, February MTD sales are a total disaster,’ Jerry Murray, Wal- Mart’s vice president of finance and logistics, said in a Feb. 12 e-mail to other executives, referring to month-to-date sales. ‘The worst start to a month I have seen in my ~7 years with the company’.”
Walmart’s leaked emails actually reflect quite a realistic picture of where the economy is and where the economy might be heading.
Gas prices are on the rise for no apparent reason other than oil companies and traders think that they can drain more gas money from people because the economy is supposedly better.
Grocery stores continuously increase the prices of the most basic food items because the economy is supposed to be so great that customers are willing to spend more.
The housing market is on the rise because there is a new generation that hasn’t been burned by the banks yet.
Looking from the bottom up, however, paints quite a different picture of the economy.
Money has to be spent for way too high gas prices because without a car and gas there is no way to get to a job to earn the money needed to pay for that very expensive food that no one can live without. And the idea of owning a house has been replaced with the idea of being glad to have a roof over one’s head; even though much of that hard-earned income goes into the pockets of those who own the rentals. Speaking of which, who bought all those houses that increased the housing market and is now renting them out?
And here come Walmart’s leaked emails and for once, some executives speak the truth. They certainly didn’t mean for that truth to be made public.
According to the Bloomberg News report, “Murray’s comments about February sales follow disappointing results from January, a month that Cameron Geiger, senior vice president of Wal-Mart U.S. Replenishment, said he was relieved to see end, according to a separate internal e-mail obtained by Bloomberg News.”
In a Feb. 1, 2013, email to executives, Cameron Geiger asked other executives, “Well, we just had one of those weeks here at Walmart U.S. Where are all the customers? And where’s their money?”
“Well, … “ Besides high gas prices, high food prices, and high rent prices, there really isn’t much money left to give to Walmart. Adding to that an increase in payroll taxes, an increase in health insurance, and less tax refunds than last year, January and February might as well extend into March, April, May, …
What makes Walmart’s leaked emails so unique is that it is rare that consumers and executives actually agree on something; -- a troubled economy.
“Wal-Mart U.S. CEO Bill Simon said during a Feb. 1 officers meeting, the minutes of which were attached to Geiger’s e-mail, that the troubled economy leaves little room for internal errors.”
Bloomberg’s report is titled “Wal-Mart Executives Sweat Slow February Start in E-Mails.” It is actually nice to read that consumers are not the only ones that have to “sweat” a “troubled economy.”