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Andrea Felsted

Target and Walmart Are Victims of Their Own Inventory Success

The retailers navigated the supply chain disruptions expertly, but are now coping with bloated inventories.  

Target’s stock is on sale. 

Target’s stock is on sale. 

Photographer: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Almost overnight, retailers have gone from seeing their profits stuck on a ship in the Pacific to languishing on the shelf.

Walmart Inc. and Target Corp. are experiencing the downside of successfully navigating supply chain disruptions and keeping their stores well -stocked. So, on top of escalating costs for things such as labor and fuel, both retailers were caught off guard by a rapid retrenchment among consumers at a time when they were carrying a higher than usual level of inventories.