Tripling its online selection has led to impressive year-over-year online sales growth for Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Walmart, No. 3 in the 2017 Internet Retailer Top 500, reported online sales across all its sites in the U.S. grew by 50% year-over-year during third quarter of fiscal 2018 ended October 31, with Walmart.com driving the bulk of that growth. Gross merchandise value (GMV), which refers to the value of goods sold through Walmart’s sites including Walmart.com, SamsClub.com, and Jet.com, and also includes transactions on its marketplace, grew by 54% year over year. Walmart does not break out a dollar figure for either online sales or GMV.
“Over the past year, we’ve tripled the number of items on Walmart.com to reach more than 70 million SKUs today,” Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon said on the retailer’s Q3 2018 earnings call on Thursday morning, according to a transcript of the call posted on Walmart’s website. “Marc’s (president and CEO of U.S. e-commerce Marc Lore) team is making progress on hiring additional category specialists focused on improving the customer experience and our positioning with the top one million e-commerce items.” McMillon did not provide any additional details
Moody’s lead retail analyst Charlie O’Shea writes that these results have him optimistic heading into the 2017 holiday shopping season.
“Walmart’s online performance continues to validate its substantial investments in this critical channel, including its purchase of Jet.com, with 50% year-over-year growth well-ahead of the company’s stated 40% target,” he writes. “As usual, we expect Walmart to largely set the tone on multiple fronts and in multiple categories for the holiday season.”
McMillon said the retailer is planning on making an aggressive online grocery push, expanding the number of stores it is available at to 2,100 next year, up from 1,100 now. Shoppers who live in areas where online grocery is available can purchase those groceries online and then pick them up at the Walmart store location nearest them.
“Existing customers have become advocates for popular initiatives like online grocery and free two-day shipping, and as a result, new customers, suppliers and partnerships are coming to Walmart,” he said.
Earlier this week, Walmart announced it is making another push into fashion by offering a selection of products from upscale department store Lord & Taylor (parent company Hudson’s Bay is No. 81) for sale on Walmart.com. McMillon hinted on Thursday’s call that Lord & Taylor might not be the last fashion brand Walmart adds.
“The recent agreement with Lord and Taylor is a great example of how we will be creating specialty experiences that complement what we offer and serve customers with the brands they want,” he said.
- Net sales of $122.136 billion, up 4.2% from $117.176 billion during the same time last year.
- U.S. sales of $77.724 billion, up 4.3% from $74.550 billion last year.
- A year-over-year comparable sales increase excluding fuel and including e-commerce in the U.S. of 2.7%, compared to a 1.2% increase last year.
- Consolidated net income of $1.749 billion, down from $3.034 billion last year.
For the first nine months of fiscal 2018, Walmart reported:
- Net sales of $360.611 billion, up 2.6% from $351.567 billion during the same time last year.
- Consolidated net income of $7.687 billion, down from $9.886 billion last year.