Retail sales data will look a bit different without Wal-Mart


Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) is the world's largest retailer. It is also one of the largest sellers of all types of consumer goods ranging from CDs to household appliances to sporting equipment. But none of this will be reflected in today's monthly retail sales reports.

Last month, the Bentonville, Ark.-based company stunned Wall Street when it announced that it would no longer issue monthly sales reports so that it could focus on managing the company for the long-term. Like my colleague Zac Bissonnette, I think Wal-Mart made the right move. For a company the size of Wal-Mart -- the largest private employer in the U.S. -- to try and manage investors' expectations for a 30-day period is insane. I would argue that it probably does not make sense for smaller retailers to operate that way either.