Sales Up for October And First Nine Months of Year!
We’re having another fine year in the Wal-Mart Company, and I want to review things generally with you once again.
We’ve just completed another excellent month (October and a quarter ending 10-31-72). Sales were up 65 per cent for October, and up 67 per cent for the first nine months of the year. And more importantly, even with our most ambitious new store opening program, seventeen new stores this year plus two new relocations, we’re up a like amount in net profit for the first nine months.
Certainly we can all be mighty proud of the continuing fine record that is being established here at Wal-Mart. I noted last week that our Wal-Mart stock on the New York Stock Exchange was selling at the highest multiple (selling price divided by the latest annual earnings) of any general merchandise company in the United States; and this includes some mighty big companies and some mighty good companies as well, such as J. C. Penney, Kresge, Sears, etc.
I know you share with me intense pride that we have a program and a company that’s rated one of the best in the country. And as far as I’m concerned, we’ve got the kind of dedicated and interested people that will keep up on top for years to come.
But before we get too enthused about 1972, let me remind us all that the most important sixty day period is still ahead of us and that’s December and January. So let’s bear down and make it the best we’ve ever had.
Frankly, I’m concerned with the large inventories some of our stores are carrying into this Christmas season. They are larger than usual, and only very strong sales and careful attention to shrinkage will pull us out of this excess inventory condition.
In all honesty, never have I seen our stores more ready for the Christmas season. I’ve been in some thirty stores in the past thirty days and I’ve never seen them looking better. Many of you have come up with some great imaginative and effective merchandise displays, and our stocks are generally in better balance this year than ever before.
On behalf of all our management personnel here, I’d like to tell all of you in the stores how much we appreciate the great job you’ve done this year. Let’s keep our eyes open, watch those loose ends, and roll through these last two months with record smashing sales and profits.
I’m confident we’ll do it and that we can say 1972 broke all records for both sales and profits, and that as well we’ll be able to make the largest contribution ever to our Profit Sharing Trust.
Good luck and keep it up.
Sam M. Walton