There’s some support in recent months for the argument for the consumer staples sector being a safe haven, given that Wal-Mart (WMT) is one of the few bright spots in a sea of retail blackouts.

Most merchants have been reporting dismal sales, making October the weakest it’s been since at least 1969, reports Anne D’Innocenzio for the Associated Press. But not only are consumers who wan the basics still heading to Wal-Mart, but he retailer is planning to slash prices on thousands of items over the next seven weeks.

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) is down 13.8% year-to-date.