Market Minute: Walmart Can't Keep Its Shelves Stocked

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Walmart (WMT) is reportedly losing customers because it doesn't have enough employees to keep the shelves stocked. According to Bloomberg, the company has added nearly 100 new stores a year over the past five years, but its total employment has declined. Target (TGT), Costco (COST) and other retailers are picking up some of the customers defecting from Walmart.

J.C. Penney (JCP) is stepping away from its ill-fated strategy of everyday low prices. In a bid to recapture budget-conscious shoppers, it's marking up store brands so that it can offer big discounts on those same items.

The federal bankruptcy court overseeing the case of American Airlines parent company (AAMRQ) holds a hearing today about the company's planned $11-billion merger with USAirways (LCC). If the deal gets the go-ahead, it will create the world's largest carrier.

Another big bank has been hit by a denial of service attack. Wells Fargo (WFC) says its website experienced unusually high traffic, but that client information was not compromised.

Toyota (TM) has raised its forecast for U.S, auto sales, citing improvements in consumer confidence and the overall economy. It says demand for the Camry and the Prius is strong. And General Motors (GM) today rolls out the new version of its pricey Cadillac CTS, which has been losing ground to German and Japanese rivals. The new model is expected to offer GM's first-ever eight-speed transmission.

Shares of Mattress Firm (MFRM) are firming. The company's earnings were a bit soft, but its forecast for the full year topped expectations.

20 PHOTOS
18 Facts About Walmart That Will Blow Your Mind
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Market Minute: Walmart Can't Keep Its Shelves Stocked

In fiscal year 2012, Walmart registered approximately $444 billion in sales, which is $20 billion more than Austria's GDP. If Walmart were a country, it would be the 26th largest economy in the world.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Andrew Bossi

Walmart has more employees worldwide — 2.2 million — than the population of Houston. The mega-retailer employs 1.4 million people in the U.S. alone.

Source: Walmart Corporate & Financial Fact Sheet

Photo: Flickr, jimmywayne

If Walmart were an army, it would have the second largest military in the world, behind China.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, BrokenSphere

Walmart is bigger than Home Depot, Kroger, Target, Sears, Costco, and K-Mart combined.

Source: Seeking Alpha

Photo: Flickr, Kevin Dooley

The average family of four spends over $4,000 a year at Walmart.

Source: Otherwords.org

Each week, Walmart serves more than 200 million customers at more than 10,400 stores in 27 countries.

Source: Walmart Corporate & Financial Fact Sheet

One of every four dollars Americans spend on groceries is spent at Walmart.

Source: Otherwords.org

Photo: Flickr, G.e.o.r.g.e

In 2010, CEO Michael Duke's annual salary of $35 million earned him more in an hour than a full-time employee makes in an entire year.

Source: ABC News

In 2009, Walmart sold more bananas than any other item.

Source: Bloomberg

Photo: Flickr, PinkMoose

China's exports to Walmart accounted for 11 percent of the growth of the total U.S. trade deficit with China between 2001 and 2006.

Source: Economic Policy Institute

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Agnieszka Bojczuk

If Walmart's more than 900 million square feet of retail space were spread out over one place it would take up roughly 34 square miles, which is about 1.5 times the size of Manhattan.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons: Daniel Schwen

Walmart parking lots alone take up an area roughly the size of Tampa, Florida.

Source: Walmart Watch

Photo: Wikimedia Commons: Wt90401

In 2000, Walmart was sued 4,851 times, or about once every 2 hours.

Source: USA Today

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, maveric2003

90 percent of all Americans live within 15 miles of a Walmart.

Source: Business Pundit

The Walton family has given away about 2 percent of its net worth to charity — Bill Gates is giving away 48 percent of his net worth and Warren Buffet 78 percent of his net worth.

Source: Business Pundit

An additional Walmart Supercenter per 100,000 residents increases average BMI (body mass index) by 0.25 units and the obesity rate by 2.4 percent.

Source: SSRN

The most frequent destination typed into GPS device Telenav is Walmart.

Source: Wireless and Mobile News

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Attitude2000

Roughly 4,700 (about 90 percent) of international stores operate under a banner other than Walmart, including Walmex in Mexico, Asda in the UK, Seiyu in Japan, and Best Price in India.

Source: Walmart Corporate & Financial Fact Sheet

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