On Feb. 19, Walmart reported its results for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2019 year ended Jan. 25.
In the fourth quarter, total revenue was $138.8 billion, an increase of $2.5 billion, or 1.9 percent. Walmart U.S. comparable sales on a two-year stack of 6.8 percent is the strongest growth in nine years, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer said.
Walmart U.S. e-commerce continued to benefit from the expansion of grocery pickup and delivery and a broader assortment on Walmart.com, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company said.
For fiscal 2019, total revenue was $514.4 billion, an increase of $14.1 billion, or 2.8 percent, and comp sales for the year increased 3.6 percent. E-commerce sales in the company’s U.S. operations increased 40 percent vs. the previous year.
The company generated $27.8 billion in operating cash flow and returned $13.5 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases during fiscal 2019.
“We had a good year, and I want to thank our associates for their great work and openness to change. They continue to inspire us as we strive to serve our customers better every day,” said Doug McMillon, Walmart president and CEO. “Progress on initiatives to accelerate growth, along with a favorable economic environment, helped us deliver strong comp sales and gain market share. We’re excited about the work we’re doing to reach customers in a more digitally-connected way. Our commitment to the customer is clear—we’ll be there when, where and how they want to shop and deliver new, convenient experiences that are uniquely Walmart.”
Sylvain Perrier, president and CEO of Mercatus, which provides digital solutions for grocery, shared his thoughts on Walmart’s success in its fourth quarter: “Retailers watching Walmart’s success must understand that its impressive Q4 earnings results were driven in large part by its significant investment in e-commerce. This includes various grocery initiatives such as online ordering, BOPIS and delivery. While some have been hesitant to drive these efforts within their organizations, Walmart is proof that shoppers welcome these initiatives.
“However, this didn’t happen overnight for Walmart—it required thoughtful investment, planning and data analysis to ensure a successful execution. Yet, you don’t need to be a mega-retailer to do the same. Regional retailers can learn from Walmart and take the steps necessary to offer their customers more convenience and personalization in grocery in order to improve customer satisfaction, loyalty and, ultimately as Walmart has shown us, the bottom line.”
Walmart Inc. operates more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites and employs more than 2.2 million associates worldwide. It had fiscal year 2019 revenue of $514.4 billion.
For fiscal 2020, Walmart is projecting comp sales growth in the U.S. of 2.5-3 percent (excluding fuel). It expects its e-commerce net sales growth to be in the 35 percent range, with about 3,100 grocery pickup locations and about 1,600 grocery delivery locations by the end of fiscal 2020.
In the U.S., it plans to open fewer than 10 new stores in the new fiscal year.