Instant Alert: Walmart just proved it’s immune to the retail apocalypse

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  Walmart just proved it’s immune to the retail apocalypse by Hayley Peterson on May 18, 2017, 8:20 AM Advertisement

Walmart is crushing expectations while dozens of other retailers are closing stores and filing for bankruptcy at rates not seen since the recession.  Walmart reported Thursday that ecommerce sales soared 63% in its most recent quarter, compared to 29% growth the prior quarter. The company said the the majority of these sales were organic through Walmart.com. Walmart’s $3 billion acquisition of online retailer Jet.com also helped the company boost ecommerce sales. But Walmart’s growth isn’t all online. The company said US same-store sales grew 1.4%, beating analyst expectations of 1.3%, and marking the tenth consecutive quarter of comparable-store sales growth. The growth was driven by a 1.5% increase in customer traffic, the company said.  “We delivered a solid first quarter and we’re encouraged by the start to the year,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said. “We’re moving faster to combine our digital and physical assets to make shopping simple and easy for customers. Our plan is gaining traction.” Walmart’s upbeat results come in the wake of disappointing earnings reports from JCPenney, Macy’s, and Nordstrom, and against a backdrop of overall distress in the retail industry marked by sliding sales and traffic. Retailers are closing more than 3,600 stores this year to stanch losses and filing for bankruptcy at a staggering rate.  Walmart is now eating up their lost market share, according to Moody’s analyst Charlie O’Shea. “The positive impact of Jet.com on the online business is significant, with our view that the level of acceleration will continue to widen the gap between Walmart and its brick-and-mortar competitors,” O’Shea said in a note Thursday. “In addition, given the current retail landscape, with many retailers experiencing challenges across multiple categories, we believe Walmart will continue to turn up the competitive heat by utilizing its scale and technological advantages to extract increased market share.” WalmartWalmart has been investing heavily in ecommerce and labor to fight off Amazon and improve customers’ experience in its physical stores.  In February, the retailer launched free two-day shipping for all orders over $35 — a direct threat to Amazon’s $99 Prime membership that offers free two-day shipping on all order.   Walmart also recently rolled out a new discount to customers who ship purchases to one of Walmart’s more than 4,700 US stores instead of to a home or elsewhere. The discount gives customers as much as $50 off purchases of large items like televisions.  SEE ALSO: Walmart has a new kind of discount — and it’s impossible for Amazon to beat

 
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