Walmart Reports Strongest Q4 in Nearly a Decade

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Walmart Reports Strongest Q4 in Nearly a Decade

By Tim Denman - 02/19/2019

Walmart closed out 2018 on a high note, posting its best US comps sales growth in nearly a decade. In addition, e-commerce sales at both Walmart and Sam’s Club continue to skyrocket thanks to the retailer’s wiliness to invest in differentiated technology.

“We has a good year, and I want to thank our associates for their great work and openness to change,” said Doug McMillon, president and CEO, Walmart. “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.”

Fourth-quarter highlights include: total revenue of $138.8 billion, an increase of $2.5 billion; two-year stacked U.S. comp sales growth of 6.8% is the strongest in 9 years; U.S. eCommerce continued to benefit from the expansion of grocery pickup and delivery and a broader assortment on Walmart.com; Sam's Club comp sales increased 3.3%, and e-commerce sales grew 21%; and net sales at Walmart International were $32.3 billion, a decline of 2.3%.

Walmart highlights from the past year:

  • Added about 1,000 grocery pickup locations, and reached nearly 800 grocery delivery locations
  • Announced pilot with Udelv for custom autonomous cargo vans to deliver groceries
  • Announced collaboration with Ford to test grocery delivery with self-driving cars
  • Launched Spark Delivery test, a new last-mile grocery delivery service
  • Showcased new in-store innovations, including autonomous shelf-scanning robots and floor cleaners and FAST unloaders
  • Remodeled approximately 500 U.S. stores
  • Launched 17,000 virtual reality training devices
  • Raised U.S. starting wages for hourly associates to bring its average hourly total compensation and benefits to more than $17.50
  • Trained about 450,000 associates in nearly 200 Walmart U.S. training academies
  • Launched new digital scheduling system for store associates
  • Launched Checkout with Me in all U.S. stores, a service that allows customers to checkout from anywhere
  • New endless aisle feature allowing customers to order and pay for online items while inside a store
  • Item Finder and store maps chain-wide in Walmart app
  • Announced Alphabot, highly efficient picking system for grocery pickup
  • Redesigned of Walmart.com and Jet.com
  • Launched Lord & Taylor and Fanatics stores on Walmart.com
  • Launched Nike and Apple stores on Jet.com
  • Announced partnership with Advance Auto Parts on Walmart.com
  • Launched Jetblack in New York, a new conversational commerce platform
  • Introduced 3D virtual shopping and “Buy the Room” feature for the Home category on Walmart.com
  • Introduced new Nursery destination on Walmart.com
  • Launched Walmart eBooks through partnership with Kobo
  • Acquired virtual reality studio, Spatialand
  • Acquired Bare Necessities, a specialty retailer focused on women’s fashion
  • Acquired ELOQUII, a digitally-native brand focused on women’s fashion
  • Announced high-tech distribution center, which can move 40 percent more product than a traditional DC
  • Announced proposed combination of Sainsbury’s and Asda, the company’s wholly-owned U.K. subsidiary
  • Asda opened its new Merchandising Centre of Excellence
  • Launched free shipping for Plus members from Samsclub.com
  • Announced partnership with Instacart for last-mile delivery at Sam's Club
  • Converted four Sam's Clubs to eCommerce fulfillment centers