The following note related to accounting for inventory was taken from the 2013 annual report of Walmart Stores, Inc.:
Inventories The Company values inventories at the lower of cost or market as determined primarily by the retail method of accounting, using the last-in, first-out (“LIFO”) method for substantially all of the Walmart U.S. segment’s inventories. The retail method of accounting results in inventory being valued at the lower of cost or market since permanent markdowns are currently taken as a reduction of the retail value of inventory. The Walmart International segment’s inventories are primarily valued by the retail method of accounting, using the first-in, and first-out (“FIFO”) method. The Sam’s Club segment’s inventories are valued based on weighted-average cost using the LIFO method. At January 31, 2013 and 2012, the Company’s inventories valued at LIFO approximate those inventories as if they were valued at FIFO.
Write a brief report explaining the reason or reasons that best explain why Walmart uses the
LIFO cost flow method for its operations in the United States, but the FIFO method for its non–U.S. operations.