Last updated on August 18th, 2017 at 02:21 pm
Walmart reported today that it continued to gain traction in both food sales and its e-commerce business in its second quarter. Walmart U.S. traffic increased 1.3 percent and comparable-store sales grew 1.8 percent. It marks Walmart’s 12th consecutive quarter of positive comp sales.
“The grocery business continued to improve as food categories delivered the strongest quarterly comp sales performance in five years, led by strong customer traffic and a return of slight market inflation in food, excluding our own price investments,” said EVP and CFO Brett Biggs.
E-commerce sales jumped 60 percent, while gross merchandise value (GMV), the total value of merchandise sold through an e-commerce site, increased 67 percent in the quarter.
Online sales are expected to continue their upward climb, in part thanks to the retailer’s recent addition of its “Easy Reorder” service on Walmart.com, which allows customers to see their past in-store and online purchases so they can easily buy them again.
“Having stores within 10 miles of approximately 90 percent of the U.S. population allows us to serve customers in ways that are most convenient for them,” said Doug McMillon, president and CEO. “We’ve seen strong results from the rollout of online grocery, which is now in more than 900 U.S. locations, and we’re expanding this service in many of our markets around the world.”
McMillon said the company is testing digital endless aisle shopping, robotics and image analytics to scan aisles for outs and using machine learning to assist with its merchants’ pricing. The retailer now offers more than 67 million SKUs on Walmart.com, an increase of more than 30 percent from the first quarter. The recent acquisitions of Moosejaw, Shoebuy and Bonobos helped to improve the online assortment in higher margin categories like shoes and apparel.
Walmart is in a battle with Amazon to lure both sellers and shoppers to Walmart.com, and McMillon alluded to that competition.
“We believe that we’re uniquely positioned to grow and delight customers by providing the seamless shopping experience they desire,” McMillon said. “They love not having to pay a membership fee to get Walmart’s free two-day shipping on millions of items. And, we’re seeing a nice increase in customers receiving discounts for picking up non-store items at their local stores.”