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Even as recently as last year, holiday sales lagged behind where they were before the Global Economic Crisis, but Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) remain positive about the important holiday season, despite aggressive competition and the continuing economic strain on customers.
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“We’re optimistic about the fourth quarter, we do expect it to be challenging,” Walmart U.S. Chief Executive Bill Simon told investors on Wednesday. “The retail environment is getting very aggressive.”
Simon bases his optimism on the previous four consecutive quarters of sales gains, on the company’s growing ecommerce business, which in the last year has been increasing market share, and on Wal-Mart shoppers.
In his opinion, customers have “become accustomed to chaos” in the past few years.
It is in the competitive for market that the company faces a challenge. It faces strong rivals in the chain Dollar General Corp (NYSE:DG), which carries a wide selection of dollar prices goods, Supervalu (NYSE:SVU) supermarkets, which have lowered their regular prices, and number-one rival Target (NYSE:TGT). Nevertheless, shares in the Bentonville, Ark., retailer are up by 23 percent for the year.
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