Wal-Mart has been forced to lower its September US sales growth forecast after discovering that 235 Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores were “incorrectly coded” in determining sales levels. The world’s largest retailer decreased its growth predictions from 1.8% for the month to 1.3%. 
Sales growth at Wal-Mart’s US outlets has declined year-on-year, with sales last month increasing at less than half the rate reported in September 2005. This slow-down comes as Target, Wal-Mart’s nearest discount rival, last week raised its estimated sales growth to 5% from a range of 3-5%. 
Despite an early dip in Wal-Mart share prices when shares fell to a low of US$48.13, stock in the retailer rebounded in afternoon trading to close up at US$49.55.

Wal-Mart is scheduled to report its final September sales figures Thursday (5 October).