Walmart CEO Warns Americans Will Freak Out This Winter As Prices Continue To Soar
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Americans are about to hit a breaking point, according to Walmart’s CEO. Soaring prices are severely impacting consumer spending habits, and the world’s biggest retailer is worried about how this trend is going to affect its bottom line this fall and winter. Bill Simon, the head of U.S. operations for four years, revealed that for the first time in a decade, the company is seeing a significant slowdown in sales activity as consumers start to buckle.
Simon believes the U.S. consumer is on the verge of folding due to an accumulation of pressures exacerbating people’s money issues. During an interview with CNBC earlier this week, the executive pointed to a series of factors working together to squeeze Americans’ purchasing power, and forcing them to tighten their budgets even further. Those include inflation, high-interest rates, and rising political tensions around the nation and the globe.
The former Walmart chief executive also warned that discounts and bargains will become harder to find in the coming weeks and months. Simon said that promotions won’t be nearly as good as they were in the past. He also exposed that not only Walmart but many other major retailers are using an old trick to hide the true value of discounts from consumers.
On top of that, brands are also using shrinkflation by reducing the amount of product in the packaging while keeping the same price. Although some consumers may fall for the trick a few times, eventually they notice the change and realize they are spending more money, so they tend to pull back.
Walmart customers are also outraged about recent price increases. A new viral TikTok exposing how much prices at Walmart stores have climbed is leaving superfans particularly frustrated. TikTok creator @__curtdogg recently racked up 3.7 million views on a video where he compared a 2020 receipt and a recent receipt with the exact same items. The most shocking finding was that even Walmart’s house brand Great Value has shot up in price over the past three years.
Walmart is already trying to prepare shareholders for an earnings miss this quarter. Even though people are spending more, they are buying less and this is driving sales volumes down and hurting the megaretailer’s bottom line.
Walmart executives seem so desperate to conceal the results that, last week, they released a note saying that weight loss medications such as Ozempic are leading consumers to buy less food, and that is eating at the retail giant’s food profit margins. The company said it analyzed anonymous data of the customers who are buying the medicines at their stores, plus what the individuals spend on groceries, and it found that they are consuming increasingly less with each passing month.
But while only 14% of Americans use Ozempic, nearly 60% said they are struggling to afford groceries due to higher prices, a new report by Attest showed. The situation is getting so extreme that more and more people are losing hope that things will ever get better. And when it comes to incomes, U.S. households making under $50,000 and over $100,000 are all reporting greater financial challenges this year.
In essence, they are on an unsustainable path of losing savings, and increasing debt. And with the cost of essentials shooting up all across the nation, it is easy to understand why the U.S. consumer is starting to break.