Walmart Stores Inc. is cutting orders it places with suppliers this quarter and next to address rising inventory the company flagged in last month’s earnings report, Bloomberg News reported.
Last week, an ordering manager at the company’s Bentonville, Arkansas, headquarters described the pullback in an e-mail to a supplier, who said others got similar messages. “We are looking at reducing inventory for Q3 and Q4,” said the Sept. 17 e-mail, which was reviewed by Bloomberg News.
U.S. inventory growth at Walmart Stores Inc. outstripped sales gains in the second quarter at a faster rate than at the retailer’s biggest rivals.
Merchandise has been piling up because consumers have been spending less freely than Walmart projected, and the company has forfeited some sales because it doesn’t have enough workers in stores to keep shelves adequately stocked.
“We are managing our inventory appropriately,” David Tovar, a Walmart spokesman, said Wednesday in an interview. “We feel good about our inventory position.”
The order pullback isn’t “across the board” and is happening “category by category,” he said in a previous interview.
“In some cases, we’re going to be taking less, in some we’re going to be taking more,” Tovar said.