Economy

Walmart takes bruises from Amazon but numbers still up

Walmart takes bruises from Amazon but numbers still up

This compares unfavourably with growth of 29 per cent in the same quarter a year earlier and 50 per cent in the previous quarter. That acceleration was largely due to the Jet.com acquisition and the brain trust that came with it.

The chief executive attributed the unexpected performance to the company's failure to juggle the influx of seasonal goods with basic in-stock items.

Some of that slowdown in growth was because the company ran out of some items at its online fulfillment centers, said CEO Doug McMillon.

The stumble sent share prices down by 10.2%. It has aggressively cut prices and plans to double the number of stores where groceries can be ordered online and picked up curbside this year to 2,000 locations. Further, McMillon said a site redesign is on the way.

Walmart tumbled 9% following a downtick in online sales.

McMillon said the retailer is positioning to take advantage of the opportunities it sees to boost its already "big apparel business".

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"We are now analysing the accounting impact of the Tax Act, but our analysis is incomplete", the company said in a statement. "Apparel is a pretty big focus at the moment". Walmart U.S. sales rose 3.5% to $318.5 billion, with comp up 2.1%.

Higher costs hit Walmart's earnings in the fourth quarter, even as the United States retail giant reported increased sales during the critical holiday period.

But the pace of online growth slowed more than expected in the quarter. Comp increased 2.6%, with traffic up 1.6% and ticket up 1.0%.

Walmart Inc. earned $2.17 billion, or 73 cents per share, in the three-month period ended january 31, versus $3.76 billion, or $1.22 per share, a year earlier. "We're making real progress putting our unique assets to work to serve customers in all the ways they want to shop, and I want to thank our associates for their great work this past year". Consolidated operating income fell 28 percent to $4.5 billion.

Meanwhile, with total revenue up $5.3 billion, or 4.1 percent, to $136.3 billion (excluding currency, total revenue rose $4.1 billion, or 3.1 percent, to $135.1 billion) Walmart Inc. posted a USA comparable-store sales increase of 2.6 percent and a 1.6 percent comp traffic gain.

For fiscal 2018, Walmart'stotal revenue was up $14.5 billion, or 3 percent, to $500.3 billion (excluding currency total revenue rose $15.1 billion, or 3.1 percent, to $500.9 billion). "Creativity, decisiveness and speed are priorities".


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