In its latest earnings report earlier this week, retailer superpower Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) seems to have firmly reversed a couple of troubling trends that had been taking hold in previous years.
Walmart has been hard at work in recent years to combat Amazon’s ever-growing retail presence, and the efforts seem to be paying off. In its latest earnings report, the company noted that e-commerce sales surged a startling 63%.
That jump is due in no small part to a recent string of acquisitions, the most high profile of which is Jet.com. Walmart also overhauled its own online sales platform, adding more products and opening it up to third party sellers, just as Amazon has in recent years.
Perhaps more importantly, WMT’s traditional retail business is on the rise. Comparable sales rose 1.4% in the latest period, marking the 11th straight quarterly gain. That means for almost three years now, stores open at least 12 months have posted year-over-year sales gains — almost unheard of in the current retail environment, where companies like Sears, JCPenney, Macy’s, and many others are facing imminent destruction.
The company isn’t resting on its laurels, either. With Amazon’s online sales still nearly six times that of Walmart’s, it’s very sober to the fact that there’s much more work to do.
“We need to scale our e-commerce business further and see some additional strength in our store comps to deliver the results we know we’re capable of,” said CEO Doug McMillon on a recent call.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc shares were trading at $78.81 per share on Friday afternoon, up $1.27 (+1.64%). Year-to-date, WMT has gained 15.63%, versus a 7.28% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
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