Wal-Mart saves $27mn from changes to plastic bags and receipts

By Pouyan Broukhim

Wal-Mart has revealed that it has saved a $20mn from making small changes to its plastic bags, whilst also saving $7mn by shortening the length of its receipts.

"A simple change to our plastic bags at Walmart U.S. resulted in an annualized savings of approximately $20 million," said Brett Briggs, Chief Financial Officer of Wal-Mart. "A decision to shorten the length of the receipts, saved over $7 million."

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The move is part of the retailers overriding strategy of reducing its costs in order to offer lower prices to consumers and obtain more of the market, with grocery retailers competing on this front more than ever before.

The news comes in the same week as the firm announcing that it will be buying back a further $20mn in public shares, something that many firms such as Apple and Microsoft have done with their profits in recent times.

The savings will also help Wal-Mart with the firm having spent billions on both cleaning up its instore experience and expanding its online presence.

"When you are building out an online business, you are building a second business," said Charlie O'Shea, a Moody’s analyst, speaking to CNBC.

"You are going to start to see those two businesses converge and I think you will be able to shake expenses out of the system and I think Wal-Mart is in the early stages of that."

The double announcement saw Wal-Mart’s shares rise as much as 4.5%.


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