Wal-Mart Prices Rise to 21 Month-High

Published by: Frank Galvano on 13th Oct 2010 | View all blogs by Frank Galvano

Wal-Mart Prices Rise to 21 Month-High

According to a report from JPMorgan Chase & Co., prices at Wal Mart Stores rose in September to their highest level in 21 months, as the company reversed discount it offered earlier in the year.

The report showed that a basket of goods containing 31 items at a Virginia Wal Mart store cost $95.75, a 2.7 percent increase from the price of the same grocery list in August and 5 percent above the cost of the items back in January. The cost was the highest since analysts Charles Grom began conducting the survey last January.

Produce prices rose as the world's largest retailer offered no discounts on food products in September Grom reported. A Wal-Mart spokesman explained that price cuts on various food items had failed to attract as many consumers as the company had hoped, dragging down sales for the last quarter, prompting the company to eliminate those cuts.

Of the 31 items in the basket used for the survey, 7 were produce, and the prices on those items averaged 10 percent higher than they had in the previous month. The average cost of meat was unchanged, while dairy prices were up 2 percent.

Shares of Wal-Mart rose 17 cents Tuesday to $53.52 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Overall this year, the stock has seen little movement. The survey showed that a similar basket was still less expensive at Wal-Mart than at Kroger or Safeway, but the gap had narrowed.

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