Wal-Mart: Small Business Are Hurting, too

Small business are spending less on office supplies, snacks & staplers, according to Wal-mart.

The retail giant is a key barometer of small business spending, as it’s often a “one-stop” destination for small business spending.  Small businesses frequently flock to its Sam’s Club warehouse stores to buy items like paper, staplers, snacks and coffee machines for their offices at a discount.

“Recent traffic patterns of our business members indicate that they are more deliberate in their spending due to macroeconomic factors,” said Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer in a statement.

While small businesses are spending, they’re very cautious due to a number of factors including gas prices, taxes and the economy. And when small businesses tighten their wallets, consumers often follow their lead.

According to Wal-mart, sales at stores open at least a year increased just 2.3% in the fourth quarter, down from 5.4% a year earlier.

“We’re not surprised that small businesses are buying less,” said Cynthia Magnuson, a spokesperson with the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). “Our members tell us that if their business isn’t picking up, and their products aren’t flying off the shelves, then they won’t be spending more money on supplies and other purchases.”

Source: Hartford Business