retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Walmart announced yesterday that its Q3 e-commerce sales in the US were up 41 percent, signifying continued success in its omnichannel-centric battle against Amazon.

At the same time, Walmart said that its US same-store sales were up rose 3.2 percent.

"Our strength is being driven by food, which is good, but we need even more progress on with general merchandise,” said CEO Doug McMillon. “We’re mixing the business out better to achieve better margin rates, but there is more work to do.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that "International sales were $29 billion, or about 23% of the quarter’s total sales. Gains abroad were led by China and Mexico, and include Flipkart, the Indian e-commerce company that Walmart purchased a year ago.

"Net income was $3.29 billion in the quarter ended Oct. 31, compared with $1.71 billion in the year-earlier period when Walmart booked a large loss on its investment in Chinese e-commerce site Total revenue was $128 billion, up from $124.9 billion."

The Journal also notes that "Walmart has been pushing online grocery delivery as it competes with Inc. to be the most convenient shopping option for Americans. In the U.S., it now has more than 3,000 locations where customers can drive up to collect groceries and more than 1,400 locations that offer home delivery from stores … Walmart is pushing a new grocery membership that offers unlimited delivery for a fee, in an apparent challenge to Amazon’s Prime membership program, which offers fast delivery and other perks like video streaming for a fee.

"Walmart’s Delivery Unlimited program is now available from 1,400 stores, the company said Thursday. Earlier this month, Walmart also started offering a service that delivers groceries into customer’s refrigerators in three cities for $19.95 a month."
KC's View:
No question that Walmart has figured out how to compete effectively with Amazon, but I still think it is important to keep in mind that Walmart and Amazon have very different visions and missions.

Amazon is building an ecosystem in as broad a way as it can. Walmart is a retailer. I'm not saying that either way is right or wrong … just that they are different.

Amazon has made Walmart better. Walmart has made Amazon better. Which in some ways ought to make everybody else nervous.