Wal-Mart, the world’s biggest retailer, has missed analysts’ October sales forecasts in its core domestic market.

Sales of Halloween lines, grocery and pharmacy were strong, but were balanced by a “soft” performance of cold-weather clothing and hard lines.

Wal-Mart posted a comparable store sales rise of 0.4 per cent at its US business, including Sam’s Club outlets, in the four weeks to November 2, versus Wall Street expectations of about 1.1 per cent.

Sales at the international division, including Asda in the UK, “continued their recent positive performance”, reported Wal-Mart. In October, international net sales increased 19.2 per cent to US$7.18 billion (£3.4 billion).

Group net sales rose 8.4 per cent over the period, to reach US$27.92 billion (£13.24 billion) and over a 39-week period climbed 8.6 per cent to US$269.81 billion (£127.94 billion).