WALMART’s CFO has warned buyers of a price hike – but hopes a change in policy can combat the surge.
The company is poised for continued inflation as shoppers stick to essentials like groceries and lightbulbs.
Walmart CFO John David Rainey, 49, said during a conference call Tuesday that food inflation is “the most stubborn of all categories.”
A policy change that shifts inventory to meet customer needs could help combat some of the costs, Rainey explained.
“When customers want more of something and less of something else, we shift our inventory,” he said.
“When the economy is strong, our customers have more money and that’s great. When things are more difficult, they come to us for value.”
Rainey insisted that Walmart understands that “the consumer is still under a lot of pressure right now,” but that means the company has to “take a pretty cautious view of the rest of the year.”
Though Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, 56, noted that the company’s adaptability and broad product line allow it to remain “naturally hedged” during periods of high inflation.
HOW INFLATION AFFECTS CONSUMERS
Walmart is also aware that inflation is making it a little harder to attract customers.
This can harm and help consumers in different ways.
It can hurt the consumer with an overall increase in costs, but it can help by forcing retailers to use sales or other tactics to impress their shoppers.
Aldi has capitalized on consumers looking for a grocery store to shop at for less, and the company reported last year that it gained around a million new customers over a 12-month period as a result.
“Inflation hits everyone, so it’s important if we can be a solution to the grocery portion of it,” Scott Patton, Aldi’s vice president of national buying, said at a media event in September 2022.
Walmart also recently announced that it will close stores in some areas as it reconsiders its business strategies around stores that are not meeting financial expectations.
McMillion also noted that due to increased theft, Walmart stores are closing and becoming a major problem in stores nationwide.
https://www.the-sun.com/money/7457693/walmart-cfo-issues-warning-over-price-hikes/ Walmart CFO warns of price hikes – but reveals policy change for shoppers that will tackle ‘stubborn’ costs