Wal-Mart to use more self-checkout lanes

Wed Mar 7, 2012 9:12am EST
 
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(Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: Quote) will add more self-checkout lanes at Walmart and Sam's Clubs stores as it continues to look for ways to lower costs and prices, Chief Financial Officer Charles Holley said on Wednesday.

Holley said he was "very pleased" with the traffic and sales at Walmart's U.S. stores this quarter, which started in February.

Pushing shoppers to scan their own items and make payments themselves, eliminating the cashier, has the potential to save Wal-Mart millions of dollars. For every one second in average transaction time at the Walmart U.S. chain, the company said it spends about $12 million in cashier wages.

Holley stood by Wal-Mart's financial targets, calling for fiscal 2013 sales to rise 5 percent to 7 percent and for earnings of $4.72 to $4.92 per share. Analysts, on average, anticipate a per-share profit of $4.86, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The company's fiscal year ends in January.

In February, Wal-Mart posted a slightly smaller-than-expected increase in fourth-quarter profit.

Holley made the comments at a Bank of America Merrill Lynch conference in New York, which was also broadcast over the Internet.

(Reporting by Jessica Wohl in Chicago; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)

 
The Wal-Mart logo is pictured on cash registers at a new store in Chicago, January 24, 2012. REUTERS/John Gress