Large retailers see fewer customers during the first quarter

Despite turning a $3.4 billion profit during the first quarter of 2011, Walmart, the world's largest retailer, is finding fewer Americans are shopping at its locations.

International sales, which rose 11.5 percent during the first three months of the year, accounted for a large portion of the company's recent profits. Domestic sales lagged behind, indicating that many Americans are struggling to keep pace with the rising price of goods.

Walmart isn't the only large retailer to be feeling a drop-off in domestic customers. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Home Depot's sales fell 0.2 percent this spring – a major setback, considering the season is generally one of the company's strongest. During the most recent quarter, Home Depot's customer transactions fell 1.9 percent.

With the economy bearing down on many consumers, it has become increasingly important for them to do what they can to protect their finances and credit. One way Americans may be able to safeguard and improve their finances is by reviewing their credit reports for inaccuracies.

If a credit company mistakenly reports wrongful or questionable information on a person's account, that individual has the right to file a dispute to have the mark removed. In many cases, a victim of a credit-reporting error will contact a credit lawyer for assistance to help them investigate and challenge the unfair item.