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Walmart's Online Sales Come Under Pressure

21 February 2018

(Excluding currency, the increase was lower, at 3.1%.) Comparable sales in the US were up 2.6% in Q4, and Walmart said that on a two-year stack, comps were the best in eight years with a 4.4% increase.

Looking at the other figures from the company's previous quarter, their eCommerce sales at Walmart U.S. managed to fetch a whopping 23% increase, while Sam's Club comp sales which exclude fuel managed to increase by a total of 2.4%, bolstered by the comp traffic growth which was at 4.3%. Net sales at Walmart International were $33.1 billion, an increase of 6.7%. Even without the one-time restructuring charges, Walmart said its operating income would have fallen, by less than 1 percent. Meanwhile, the retail giant set its fiscal 2019 earnings per share forecast at $4.75 to $5.00.

The slow growth over the holiday season comes more than a year after Walmart acquired Jet.com for $3 billion as a part of its expansion into e-commerce and a refined strategy to appeal to higher-income, urban consumers.

The shares fell 2.7% to $102 in premarket trading.

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Sam's Club sales, excluding fuel, were up 2.1% to $14.2 billion. But it plans to expand to double that number this year, Randy Hargrove, a Walmart spokesperson, told BuzzFeed News.

Overall, Walmart's revenue in the most recent quarter grew by 4.1%, to $136.3 billion.

"There are many demographics, especially younger and professional segments, for whom Walmart is not the destination of choice online, This is a tough nut for Walmart to crack, and one that it can only break by more heavily marketing its services and proposition".

Home Depot advanced 0.34 percent after the largest USA home improvement chain's quarterly profit beat market estimates in an improving housing market.

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Walmart said it's still assessing the impact of last year's federal tax changes - legislation that's expected to bring huge benefits to the nation's retailers.

For the year ahead, the retailer expects a similar ballooning of online sales as last year, as the company, in O'Shea's words, "keeps the online pedal to the metal in 2018".

Walmart, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, earned $2.17 billion, or 73 cents per share, in the three-month period ended January 31. That was short of analysts' average projection of $1.37. "Our stores are executing better, we're innovating more, and customers are responding with higher sales and traffic", he said in an earnings call with investors yesterday.

All that said, we still believe Walmart has more work to do to widen its e-commerce customer base. Walmart's e-commerce increase for the full year, 44%, was also impressive.

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Walmart has also teamed up with Google to pursue technology that would allow customers to shop at home using voice commands as it tries to chip away at the dominance of Amazon's Alexa-powered Echo devices.

Walmart's Online Sales Come Under Pressure