US retail giant Wal-Mart has reported that its sales for the four-week period from 28 October to 24 November fell by 0.1%, the retailer’s first four-weekly sales decline in a decade.

This report left analysts concerned regarding the strength of consumer spending in the lead-up to the holiday season. Wal-Mart’s US sales have come under increasing pressure as competition increases and consumer confidence falls.

“There is now significant concern that the holiday retail season is going to underperform,” said Gregory Miller, chief economist at SunTrust Banks.

Wal-Mart’s shares fell by US$1.29, or 2.7%, to $46.61 following the sales bulletin. The company will publish its next four-weekly sales report on 30 November.