Tomahawk, WI 08/15/2014 (Basicsmedia) – Sluggish sales continue to be the main challenge for many of the retail stores in the U.S seen by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) reducing its annual profit outlook as the giant retail store tries to shift its attention to e-commerce operations. Consumer traffic to brick and Mortar stores continues to be significantly affected by high gas prices according to, John Stephens, in an interview on CNBC. Stephens remains optimistic that the giant store will turn things around especially on the sales side, heading into the holiday season.

“[…] Traffic is down, hopefully Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) is making some progress sequentially over the last few quarters and as we get towards the holiday season we think things are in shape that we will see some improvements,” said Mr. Stephens.

Heading into the holiday season discounting of products looks set to be the main play for all the retail players seen as one of the ways of attracting customers, to avert the declining traffic crisis. Stephens remains confident that Wal-Mart is well-positioned to compete in terms of pricing against the other players in the ever competitive retail space.

“We’ve seen the last several years; […] Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) lets the consumer know that they are everyday low priced, and they are aggressive on price. They usually win the battle, and we will see again this year that they will be aggressive in some categories, I think that starts with Black Friday,” said Mr. Stephens.

Wal-Mart market share essentially gives it an advantage when competing against other retail stores especially in terms of pricing. E-commerce is also set to be another huge leap for the company heading into the holiday season as the store will try to be a massive player in online transactions.

Wal-Mart has never put much focus on e-commerce according to Stephens, but things look certain to change this time around as the company tries to use its advantage in the brick and Mortar business to consolidate its position in the online platform.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) overseas operations continue to perform better than domestic business seen by sales growth that exceeded expectations consequently registering an 8% increase in operating income for the second quarter.

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