If we didn’t have food stamps here we would probably see this in our streets. As it is with Banana Ben’s printing causing inflation on food we may yet see it.
And you need not go further than one of our stores on midnight at the end of the month. And it's real interesting to watch, about 11 p.m., customers start to come in and shop, fill their grocery basket with basic items, baby formula, milk, bread, eggs, and continue to shop and mill about the store until midnight, when ... government electronic benefits cards get activated and then the checkout starts and occurs. And our sales for those first few hours on the first of the month are substantially and significantly higher.
And if you really think about it, the only reason somebody gets out in the middle of the night and buys baby formula is that they need it, and they've been waiting for it. Otherwise, we are open 24 hours -- come at 5 a.m., come at 7 a.m., come at 10 a.m. But if you are there at midnight, you are there for a reason.
This is not the first time Walmart executives have pointed out the midnight electronic food stamp bread line. Last December, Walmart CFO Tom Schoewe was quoted making similar comments in "Midnight in the Food Stamp Economy," a definitive Reuters article on the subject by Nicole Maestri and Lisa Baertlein. Two years ago, Bill Simon's predecessor Eduardo Castro-Wright remarked upon the "disturbing" surge in sales of baby formula visible on the 1st and 15th of every month. Heck, 10 years ago, as Reuters admirably points out, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony released a song detailing the predictable surge in economic activity on the "1st of Tha Month." (However, it should be noted baby formula is not explicitly mentioned as one of the purchases most popular with the target demographic.)