Wal­mart sees growth on­line and in stores

The Hamilton Spectator - - BUSINESS - ANNE D’IN­NO­CEN­ZIO

BEN­TONVILLE, ARK. — Wal­mart saw on­line sales surge as it changed up its ship­ping of­fers, and drew more shop­pers to its stores as well in the most re­cent quar­ter even as re­tail over­all is more com­pet­i­tive.

The world’s largest re­tailer said Thurs­day that sales at es­tab­lished stores rose for the 11th straight quar­ter, and cus­tomer traf­fic rose for the 10th quar­ter in a row. That’s a con­trast with many ri­vals that saw both those fig­ures drop.

On­line sales at Wal­mart.com rose 63 per cent, dra­mat­i­cally up from the 29 per cent growth in the pre­vi­ous quar­ter. Though the com­pany has been buy­ing up smaller In­ter­net re­tail­ers, Wal­mart said a ma­jor­ity of the in­crease was through Wal­mart.com and was fu­elled by changes in its ship­ping strat­egy and a dis­count for shop­pers who pick up their on­line or­ders.

“We’re trans­form­ing to be­come more of a dig­i­tal en­ter­prise,” said Doug McMil­lon, CEO and pres­i­dent of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Wal­mart’s re­port stood out amid a largely gloomy en­vi­ron­ment for re­tail­ers, af­ter chains like Macy’s, Kohl’s, J.C. Penney and Tar­get saw de­clines in com­pa­ra­ble-store sales. Even off-price re­tailer TJX Cos., which has done bet­ter than many as cus­tomers hunt for bar­gains, missed fore­casts for that sales mea­sure. And it un­der­scores Wal­mart’s ef­forts to nar­row the gap be­tween it­self and on­line leader Ama­zon, and widen the dis­tance be­tween it­self and other com­peti­tors.

Re­tails bank­rupt­cies in the U.S. are set­ting a record pace this year, and store clo­sures are ex­pected to ex­ceed those of 2008 af­ter the fi­nan­cial cri­sis. Re­search firm Re­tailMet­rics, which tracks re­sults from more than 100 chains, said over­all they are ex­pected to record a flat in­crease in rev­enue at es­tab­lished stores for the quar­ter, the worst per­for­mance since 2009. Ex­clud­ing Wal­mart’s re­sults, there would be a 0.8 per cent de­cline.

The Ben­tonville, Ark.-based com­pany has re­tooled how it op­er­ates on­line, as cus­tomers get used to free ship­ping and other en­tice­ments that add costs and hurt the bot­tom line. It has also ac­cel­er­ated that shift with its ac­qui­si­tions.

MORGAN LEE, THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Wal­mart cus­tomer traf­fic rose for the 10th quar­ter in a row.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.