Comparable store sales are a widely-followed measure of retailer performance and typically reflect locations open at least a year.
The soft economy continued to weigh on customers, Wal-Mart said, and the company’s quarterly profit declined nearly 3 percent.
“Economic conditions in the third quarter remained largely unchanged,” Simon said. “Our core customer was still impacted by high unemployment and continued uncertainty over the economy, leading to declining consumer confidence.”
During the three months ended Oct. 28, Wal-Mart’s fiscal 2012 third quarter, net income fell to $3.34 billion from $3.44 billion a year earlier, according to a statement. Total revenue rose 8.1 percent to $110.2 billion.
Including the Sam’s Clubs warehouse chain, Wal-Mart sells more food in the U.S. than the country’s three largest traditional supermarket chains – Kroger Co., Safeway, Inc., and Supervalu Inc. – combined. In the 12 months ended January 31, groceries accounted for 54 percent of Wal-Mart’s U.S. sales, or nearly $141 billion, according to a company filing.