Wal-Mart Sees $3B Opportunity Refilling Shelves

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March 31 (Bloomberg) -- Wal-Mart executives, speaking at a company meeting this month, said its store shelves need to be better stocked with merchandise and that resolving the matter could be a $3 billion opportunity. Julie Hyman reports on Bloomberg Television’s “In The Loop.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Walmart laid out pretty a glance at the year beginning meeting about the situation.

And technology it is an issue and trying to figure out what to do about it.

It could be a $3 billion opportunity because the thinking is that they have been perhaps losing customers to competitors because of some of these stocking issues.

A lot of this from our reporting from renee dudley on our print side.

They're focusing on improving what they call in stock, how much merchandise available for shoppers to buy.

You are going to see perhaps more people being employed by walmart or at least more labor hours added for the people there , because the folks who work at walmart, the complaint tends to be, well, there are not enough people working, so we are stretched too thin and we are working with departments we are not familiar with, perhaps putting things out in the wrong place or not being out on the floor soon enough.

Walmart has at the problem with inventory exceeded sales.

It happened 10 out of the last 12 quarters.

You get a problem with ordering versus how much buying being done and you get some inventory flow issues as a result of that.

Have they given a timeline on how they are going to address this?

Apparently they have not.

This was the year beginning meeting that they had.

The company said there were about 7000 associates -- including ceo doug macmillan and the ceo of the u.s. business bill simon who were discussing the problem and discussing ways to try to address it.

Because we have seen this drop in the workforce at walmart over the past several years.

We have seen the workforce going down by about 20,000 cents 2008 at the same time the store count has gone up.

And it is not clear -- we did not get much explicit information as to are going to add x number of people or add x number of hours.

It is more of an acknowledgment that this is an issue and a commitment to try to address it.

Do we know if this is just a walmart only problem?

From what we have heard, it seems to be pretty walmart specific.

As we know, retail has suffered overall.

We talked a lot about that.

Walmart has suffered in particular because it does cater to lower income individuals.

Executives have said very specifically snap benefits, food stamp benefits being cut has had an effect.

Those people still having a higher unemployment rate, the lower income segment of the population.

So walmart perhaps disproportionately has felt some of these fx.

And then is the problem exacerbation -- exacerbated some of when someone was to buy something and it is not on the shelf?

If walmart can address that, it looks like they're moving to do so.

Coming up, leuthold strategy

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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