Despite economic gloom and doom, MarketWatch is reporting positive third quarter results for Wal-mart and McDonald’s. Walmart’s sales rose 2.4%, including a 2.2% gain at Wal-Mart U.S. and a 3.6% increase at Sam’s Club while McDonald’s same-store sales rose 5.3% in October in the U.S.
So, what are they doing right?
“Highly competitive pricing, especially on basics throughout the store, is driving these results,” said Eduardo Castro-Wright, Wal-Mart U.S. president and chief executive officer. “Customers see that we are broadening the price gap against our competitors.”
I don’t know if people never realized the price difference at Wal-Mart, or if they were just more willing to skip the lower prices in place of convenience when economic times were happier. Maybe now people are driving an extra mile or skipping the enticing aroma of Starbucks for home-made coffee bought from Wal-Mart.
I’m also willing to bet that the ever-popular recent Monopoly sweepstakes had something to do with the McDonald’s sales.
Many say the economic crisis isn’t that bad because most people have not dramatically changed their way of life. While I agree that most people haven’t yet – I think that’s because this is just the beginning. It’s only going to get worse before it gets better. I think the success of Wal-Mart and McDonald’s shows the slowly but surely, people are making SLIGHT adjustments. Instead of going to their favorite restaurants for dinner, people are buying groceries from Wal-Mart and settling for Big Macs as “going out to eat.”
I’m interested to see who else will benefit from the tough times when they get tougher. It can’t be all bad for everyone, right?