Walmart investments in e-commerce are paying off. The retailer today announced that its online sales in the United States grew 37% in the first quarter, thanks largely to the growth of its online grocery business and growth in the home sectors. and fashion on Walmart.com.
The company also beat analyst estimates for the quarter, with earnings per share of $ 1.13 against expected $ 1.02 and revenue of $ 123.93 billion against estimates of $ 125.03 billion. Same-store sales growth in the United States was 3.4% in the quarter, compared with the expected increase of 3.3% – making it the fourth consecutive quarter above 3% and the best quarter of the last nine years.
Operating profit, on the other hand, declined during the quarter as strong sales at Walmart stores in the US and Sam's Club were offset by the inclusion of Flipkart, the retailer said.
For several years, the company has been investing heavily in the key categories of home, fashion and grocery, with the goal of better competing with Amazon and expanding to categories in which the growth margin online is still great.
In Home, for example, Walmart launched a new home shopping experience last year on the Web that featured furniture, home accessories and other home décor items, categorized by style. The updated site also presented a more editorial atmosphere with larger images, similar to those of magazines, and design tips written by internal staff.
Later in the year, the complete Walmart.com redesign was launched, with a greater focus on specialty shopping experiences at home and in fashion, the latter featuring seasonal stories and fashion editorials for that the purchase of an outfit is very different from that of grocery store or other. items. The fashion destination has also become an upscale brand, with a section dedicated to Lord & Taylor, the result of a partnership that has made Walmart the new high-end retailer's e-commerce site.
At the same time, Walmart expanded its online grocery business by leveraging its thousands of physical storefronts in the United States.
Instead of raising prices as Instarcart does, Walmart allows customers to order their supplies online and pay the same price as they would in the store. Customers then go to their local Walmart, one or two kilometers away, and pick up their prepared and bagged food at a designated point.
The pick-up service is available at 2,450 Walmart locations, while grocery delivery is provided by partners such as Point Pickup, Skipcart, AxleHire, Roadie, Postmates and Doordash in nearly 1,000 locations. The retailer plans to offer pickup in 3,100 points and delivery to 1,600 by the end of the year, covering about 50% and nearly 80% of the US population, respectively.
Among other investments in e-commerce in the first quarter include the launch of a new personalized baby registry and an online pet pharmacy, the introduction of Walmart Voice Order via Google Wizard and the addition of several exclusive brands online, including the Sofia Vergara denim, brand MoDRN manufacturer. Category Home, Hello Bello in the Baby category with Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, Flower in the Home category with Drew Barrymore and Bobbi Brown's health and wellness line, Evolution_18.
Walmart also partnered with Kidbox for a personalized children's fashion through Walmart.com and has invested to reach low-income customers. On the latter front, she partnered with Affirm for alternative financing and began experimenting with SNAP's acceptance of online shopping as part of a new USDA-supported program.
And this week again, Walmart has announced a new NextDay delivery service, which will deliver one-day delivery of more than 200,000 of the most popular items.
"We are changing to allow more innovation, speed and productivity, and we see it in our results," Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement. "We are particularly pleased with the combination of comparable store and e-commerce growth in the United States. Our team demonstrates its ability to serve customers today while building new features for the future. I want to thank them for the good start. to the year. "