Walmart Presses Rollbacks and Clearances for New Year

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Now that holiday buying sprees have ended, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) appears to be in the midst of pushing out excess inventory. It has set a number of rollbacks and clearances just as 2018 begins. It is also a way to pile on revenue as it continues to show progress, particularly against Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN).

Rollbacks are across a broad swath of categories, led by consumer electronics. Some of these are extremely aggressive. And RCA laptop’s price has been cut from $179.99 to $79.98.  A Sceptre 55″ Class 4K (2160P) LED TV has been cut by $70 to $329.99. It is worth noting both are little known brands.

Other rollbacks and clearances are across a large selection of clothing and household goods. Most of the items are inexpensive, with many prices below $100.

It is always a guessing game as to how much clearances and incentive hurt a company’s margins will raising revenue. Among the companies about which this is hotly debated is Amazon and almost all car companies. Some investors have even speculated that Amazon’s e-commerce units may not make money in the last quarter of the year–to some extent due to challenges from Walmart.

Walmart has had a run both in revenue and stock market prices throughout 2017. Its shares rose 43% to $99. That made it one of the most successful Dow components. This happened during a year when many other mainstream retailers were battered, and questions arose about whether they will survive until the end of 2018

Walmart will need to use every trick in the book, and also write some new ones, if it hopes to duplicate 2017 in 2018.