Wal-Mart feels impact of economic downturn
May 22, 2002,
Orlando, FL — Even Wal-Mart is not immune to a tough economy, according to Tom Coughlin, president and ceo, Wal-Mart stores division, who said that even the small changes that affect its primary consumer — the opening-price-point customer — affect the retailer.
When gas prices climb even 10 cents, "we see automatic reactions," Coughlin said at the closing keynote session, Achieving Retail Results Today and Tomorrow, at the International Mass Retail Association's convention here this week. "During tough times, we go back to the basics." The opening-price-point customer "is so critical to our success — and failures, when we don't keep it in mind."
The company's efforts also include investing in new stores, distribution centers, technology and logistics and renovating existing stores into Supercenters, he said. "We continue to build a trust level with customers."