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Walmart Says Reducing Inventory Glut Will Take ‘Couple Quarters’

Customers outside at a Walmart store in Torrance, California.

Customers outside at a Walmart store in Torrance, California.

Photographer: Bing Guan/Bloomberg

Walmart Inc. said it needs another two quarters or so to work through an inventory surge that prompted markdowns and contributed to last month’s steep stock decline. 

About a fifth of the 32% jump in inventories last quarter came from merchandise piling up more quickly than the company wanted, said John Furner, chief of Walmart’s US operations. Another chunk of the increase came from the desired replenishment of goods after supply-chain disruptions last year led to more out-of-stock items.