The economic stimulus plan has provided a spark for Wal-Mart, Costco and other sellers of cheap goods, but is providing less help to other retailers.

According to Bloomberg and other news services, Wal-Mart's sales rose 5.8 percent in June compared to last year, while Costco's sales rose 9 percent. Wal-Mart said its profits would be larger than anticipated.

Target's sales, in comparison, rose 0.4 percent.

Wal-Mart attributed the success to its prices, offerings and overall store experience.

Wal-Mart Watch, an advocacy group critical of the retailer, noted the jump in sales comes amid high gas prices and reports of job losses by the Labor Department.

Here are Wal-Mart's sales numbers.Below is the Wal-Mart Watch statement:
At a time when gas prices are soaring, jobs are being lost, wages are stagnating, and hard working American families are struggling to get by, Wal-Mart announced that its sales for June are up 5.8% from last year.

It's just another reminder that what's good for Wal-Mart is bad for America, something its Chief Financial Officer as much as admitted when he said "tough times are actually a good time for Wal-Mart." While Wal-Mart is no doubt celebrating its increased sales and the billions it will rake in this year, the rest of the country is struggling to get by.

Instead of celebrating, Wal-Mart should make real changes to support its workers that would make our country, and our economy, stronger.

-Ian Swanson