Wal-Mart announced that its grocery sales grew to 51% of the company's total U.S. sales last year, a new high. Ramped-up efforts to convert more Wal-Marts into Supercenters and the relative stability of food and consumables compared with apparel and other less-essential products during the recession helped propel the growth.
Wal-Mart Stores' push of radio-activated tags on suppliers has hit a standstill, as tests show radio frequency identification technology hasn't led to savings. Wal-Mart has installed the RFID technology at five stores, although original plans were to install the technology at up to 12 distribution centers by January 2006.
The Senate Finance Committee has approved $8 billion in small business tax breaks over the next decade, sweetening the pot to prepare for an expected boost in the federal minimum wage. The pay raise has already passed the House, and could be debated by the Senate as early as next week.