One family is really feeling the sting of Walmart’s current financial struggles.
The fortune of the Walton family, which owns nearly half of the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer, plummeted by $11.4 billion on Tuesday, according Bloomberg Business Week. The decline followed news that the chain was cutting its full-year earnings outlook for the second time in 2022.
The family suffered the loss because Walmart shares fell 7.6% in trading on Tuesday. The sharp decline was prompted by news that the company expects earnings per share to fall 13% this year. Two months ago, the company said it expected a slight decline of 1%, after predicting a slight increase at the start of the year.
The revised forecast shows that Walmart expects consumers to continue to limit spending, with inflation currently at its highest level in four decades, according to the financial magazine. The chain, which was founded by family patriarch Sam Walton in 1962, has already been able to weather recessionary times due to its discount culture. This no longer seems to be the case, especially with the company currently trying to reduce inventory of merchandise.
Walton’s three surviving children, along with his daughter-in-law Christy and son, Lukas, own just under half of Walmart’s stock. The company’s struggles have seen the family’s combined fortune plummet by more than 11% since the start of the year. The overall family fortune, of course, remains intact. Even after the last dive, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index still put the combined net worth of the five heirs at $199.3 billion as of the end of trading on Tuesday.
The Walton family actually owned more Walmarts just last year. Family members sold $6.2 billion worth of stock in 2021 as part of a plan to keep their stake in the company below 50%.