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$WMT CEO: Fiscal Cliff Fears to Hurt Holiday Shopping

“A large portion of American consumers now know about the fiscal cliff and a sizable number of them expect the debate over it to curb their holiday spending, according to the chief executive of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

In the week before last month’s U.S. presidential election, only 25 percent of its core U.S. shoppers knew what the term fiscal cliff meant, CEO Mike Duke told a gathering on Tuesday in New York.

“One week after the election, it was up to 75 percent,” said Duke, adding that 15 percent of those customers said the debate in Washington would affect what they spend for Christmas.

Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the United States and the world, polls its shoppers regularly.

The latest poll could bode poorly for retailers like Wal-Mart, which rely on the year-end holiday shopping season for an outsized portion of their annual revenue.”

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