New York: Walmart is reporting better-than-expected profit and revenue for the first quarter with rebounding e-commerce sales.
Revenue at Walmart stores opened at least a year rose 2.1 per cent, the company said on Thursday, also surprising Wall Street.
It's an encouraging report from Walmart, which like other retailers is looking at new ways to compete in light of swiftly changing shopping habits and intense competition from Amazon.
Walmart, while spending more on its workers to improve service, is building fewer big stores, and its focus is solidly online.
Since buying Jet.com for more than 3 billion nearly two years ago, Walmart has buttressed its presence online, acquired brands like Bonobos and ModCloth, and vastly expanded the number of goods its sells from its site.
It's also strengthening delivery to make shopping at Walmart even easier. In March, Walmart began expanding its same-day delivery service to more than 40 percent of U.S. households, or 100 metro areas by year end.
Walmart is reworking its website with a focus on fashion and home furnishings. It has teamed up with Lord & Taylor to create dedicated space on its site, which will be launched in the next few weeks.
Online sales rose 33 per cent in the first quarter, a strong showing following a disappointing 23 per cent increase in the final quarter of last year. Wall Street punished the company for the end-of-year e-commerce performance, sending company shares plunging more than 10 per cent. It was the biggest single-day percentage drop in 30 years.
Still, digital sales are below the 40 percent growth that Walmart is expecting for this year.