New York City The head of Wal-Mart Stores said on Wednesday there remained a "lot of stress" in the economy and he did not anticipate a quick end to the recession.
“There's still a lot of stress," Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke said on NBC's "Today Show." "It's not a 'V' recession, where we're just going to bounce out and come back.”
Duke made the remarks a day after a government report showed that sales at U.S. retailers unexpectedly fell 1.1% in March. The report dimmed hopes that the U.S. recession is close to hitting bottom, and showed consumers are unswayed from their new frugal mind-set.
Duke said the downturn will lead to a "sustained change" in the way that families live.
In other news, Wal-Mart Stores is restructuring its staff in China, which may result in pay cuts and possible job losses, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The changes will trim Wal-Mart's current five-tier management system, primarily cutting jobs at the middle-manager level, the report said.