BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores here on Tuesday said its fourth-quarter same-store sales fell more than expected in the U.S. as the company continued to struggle with "pricing and merchandising issues."
Same-store sales were down 1.1% in the U.S., excluding fuel, but including a 2.7% gain at Sam's Club. Total U.S. sales were down 0.5% for the quarter and up 0.1% for the full year.
"Sales for Walmart U.S. were below our expectations for the fourth quarter," said Michael T. Duke, president and chief executive officer, Wal-Mart Stores. "Some of the pricing and merchandising issues in Walmart U.S. ran deeper than we initially expected, and they require responses that will take time to see results."
The company said comp-store food sales in the U.S. rose in the low single digits in the fourth quarter, however. "We believe the additional assortment we put into grocery increased our relevancy for customers," said Bill Simon, president and CEO for Walmart U.S. "We brought back many opening-price-point items that were important to our core customers to help generate traffic and loyalty."
Overall, net income increased about 27.3%, to $6 billion for the quarter, on revenues of $116.4 billion, up 2.4%. For the year net income was up 14.1%, to $16.4 billion, on revenues of $408.1 billion, up 3.4%.