I don't need to tell you that our customer remains challenged…You need not go farther than one of our stores on midnight at the end of the month. And it's real interesting to watch, about 11 p.m. customers start to come in and shop, fill their grocery basket with basic items – baby formula, milk, bread, eggs – and continue to shop and mill about the store until midnight when government electronic benefits cards get activated, and then the checkout starts and occurs. And our sales for those first few hours on the first of the month are substantially and significantly higher.
Stop and think about that for a second. People are literally lining up to get food benefits at one in the morning on the first of the month, stocking up for the entire month, because they can only afford to make one trip out to the Wal-Mart, or they're flat broke and need basics ASAP, to the point where they are doing it in the middle of the night. This phenomenon is so pervasive that Wal-Mart's CEO has noticed.
That should shock the living hell out of all of us.
So yeah, if you happen to be out towards the Wal-Mart one night around midnight and the place is packed and the parking lot looks like pre-dawn Black Friday, check to see if it's the end of the month instead.
That's where America's bread lines are. Tens of millions of us on food benefits now and that number is increasing monthly...over 40 million and rising. 13% and it's getting worse.
No end in sight, either. You would think Congress would want to do something about this.
You'd be of course, wrong.