One family is really feeling the sting of Walmart’s current financial difficulties.
The fortune of the Walton family, which owns nearly half of the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer, tumbled by $11.4 billion on Tuesday, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. The drop followed the announcement that the chain was slashing its yearly earnings outlook for the second time in 2022.
The family incurred the loss because Walmart’s stock fell by 7.6 percent in trading on Tuesday. The steep decline was brought on by the news that the company expects earnings per share to drop by as much as 13 percent this year. Two months ago, the company said it foresaw a slight 1 percent decrease, after having predicted at the beginning of the year a small increase.
The revised forecast shows that Walmart expects consumers to continue to rein in spending with inflation currently sitting at a four-decade high, according to the financial magazine. The chain, which was founded by family patriarch Sam Walton in 1962, has previously been able to weather recessionary times because of its discount culture. That no longer appears to be the case, especially with the company currently attempting to reduce merchandise stockpiles.
Walton’s three surviving children, along with his daughter-in-law Christy and her son, Lukas, own just under half of Walmart’s stock. The company’s struggles have seen the family’s combined fortune fall by over 11 percent since the beginning of the year. The family’s overall fortune, of course, remains very much in tact. Even after the latest dip, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index still put the five heirs’ combined net worth at $199.3 billion at the end of trading on Tuesday.
The Walton family actually owned more of Walmart as recently as last year. The family members sold $6.2 billion worth of stock in 2021 as part of a plan to keep its stake in the company below 50 percent.