Walmart has a long track record of keeping costs down to maintain ultra-low prices for its customers. Customers know they can go to Walmart for rock-bottom prices. During these times, consumers typically trade down to seek values at places like Walmart.
Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ: COST) and Walmart (NYSE: WMT) have long been rivals. Walmart is mostly a conventional retailer, while Costco operates as a membership club, selling bulk products for bargain prices in exchange for a membership fee. For investors, Costco and Walmart also have similar strengths.
Five Below (NASDAQ: FIVE) has been of the few winners in the retailing industry through the latest market downturn. Walmart and Target stocks have declined in that time. Instead of flat comparable-store sales trends, as management had initially forecast back in late October, comps rose 2%.