Walmart is offering more “rollback” deals as inflation continues to drain consumers’ wallets.
Last month, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) — which tracks costs faced by the typical American family — attained its highest rate of increase since February 1982. Core CPI, which does not consider volatile categories such as food and energy, increased by 6% year-over-year.
Although many Americans are bringing home nominally larger paychecks as the economy continues to recover, soaring inflation is outpacing wage growth — eroding the purchasing power of American households. Real average hourly earnings decreased by 2.4% from December 2020 to December 2021.
Walmart recently revealed that its total revenue for the year was $572.8 billion — a 2.4% increase. Meanwhile, the grocery giant saw 3.1% more transactions and 2.4% higher average tickets last quarter.
CEO Doug McMillon noted that Walmart thrives in high inflation environments as consumers seek better deals.
“During periods of inflation like this, middle-income families, lower middle-income families, even wealthier families become more price sensitive. And that’s to our advantage,” McMillon explained during an earnings call earlier this week. “So we’ve been through this before. And we run with inflation around the world all the time. Inflation is a different environment in the U.S. right now than it has been in recent times for sure, but we’ve been dealing with inflation in South America and Mexico and other places.”
As a result, McMillon sees “the opportunity to increase some of our rollbacks in stores” — providing relief for Americans adjusting their budgets in reaction to higher price levels while filling Walmart’s coffers.
Despite several multitrillion-dollar spending measures and proposals, President Joe Biden has been dismissive when pressed on his work to limit inflation. When NBC News host Lester Holt asked Biden about his definition of “temporary” inflation, the commander-in-chief immediately began making jabs at the anchor.
“Well, you’re being a wise guy with me a little bit, and I understand that’s your job,” Biden responded. “But look, at the time, what happened was the, uh, let’s look at the reasons for the inflation. And the reason for the inflation is the supply chains were cut off, meaning that the products, for example, automobiles, the lack of computer chips to be able to build those automobiles so they could function, they need those computer chips, they were not available.”
“So, what happens?” Biden added. “When the number of cars were reduced, the new cars reduced, it made up at one point one-third the cost of inflation because the price of automobiles were up.”
After the last inflation report was unveiled, Biden insisted that Americans should have “peace of mind.”
“Look again, slight digression, inflation is up. It’s up,” Biden said. “And, coming from a family when the price of gas went up you felt it in the household, you knew what it was like, it matters.”
“But the fact, is that — if we are able to do the things that I am talking about here, it will bring down the cost for average families. It will bring down the cost for average families, I don’t know why they keep moving and all that, but the fact is they keep down the cost for average families,” Biden added, though it was unclear which “they” he was referring to in his comment.
“The fact is we’re in a situation now where you should have peace of mind,” Biden continued. “I know food prices are up, and we’re working to bring them down. As I said, I grew up in a family where the price at the pump went up, you felt it. I understand. But these things are necessities.”
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