OLD Media Moves

Wal-Mart, Home Depot stories ignore competitors

August 16, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

TheStreet.com’s Marek Fuchs writes that earnings stories on Wal-Mart and Home Depot where the economy and the weather are blamed for poor results ignore the fact that competitors Target and Lowe’s aren’t having the same issues.

Marek FuchsFuchs wrote, “Now let me show you how a whole mess of articles gets this important weighting wrong. Then we’ll see how The Wall Street Journal dances away with a coveted Business Press Maven ‘Nod of Approval’ for getting it right.

“Also, do tell me if you see the names Target or Lowe’s mentioned in any of these articles. I must have missed it in most, other than in The Associated Press. These companies are competitors of Wal-Mart and Home Depot and have been outperforming them for quite a while now. Even though it operates in the same economy, Target recently reported better-than-expected same-store sales. Don’t you think that should at least be set against claims that the consumer has completely clammed up?

“Apparently not. Soon after the company claimed that the consumer done it, Drudgereport.com ran with a banner headline: ‘Slowdown Hits Wal-Mart.’

“Don’t think it’s only the news aggregators. The trusted Financial Times ran with headline ‘Economic pressures’ hit Wal-Mart profit. Fully committing to the Wal-Mart and Home Depot corporate lines, the Financial Times compounded its error in the lead.”

Read more here.

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