For what it’s worth

Thanks to the Internet, a lot of what passes for news these days is a report based on a report based on a report with few if any filters in place to verify the accuracy of information. With that qualification in mind, Bloomberg this week reported that Walmart’s market share in China declined to 7.5% in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to 8.2% in the second quarter. The news agency said its report was based on a report in the English language Shanghai Daily newspaper whose report was based on a report from a market research company identified as CTR.

The market-share decline is curious in light of comments regarding sales and traffic in China last week from Walmart International president and CEO Doug McMillon. He noted that sales in China in the fourth quarter grew by 9.6% and same-store sales increased 1.8%. The increase was driven by larger average transaction size, which grew by nearly 10% while customer traffic declined 7.2% as stores operating under the TrustMart banner converted to product assortment found in Walmart stores.

In addition, he said 45 of the 49 stores Walmart opened in China last year were supercenters and the company now operates 328 stores in China. That doesn’t sound like a formula for losing market share.

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