Future of Walmart ‘looking more digital’

Wednesday, 11 October 2017, 07:26:46 PM. Walmart is anticipating digital sales next fiscal year will rise about 40 percent
New York — Walmart is all about online, anticipating digital sales next fiscal year will rise about 40 percent and that it will double the number of U.S. curbside locations for online grocery shoppers at its stores. But the world’s largest retailer continues to scale back new store growth in the U.S., with plans to open only 25 in its fiscal year 2019, which ends January 2019. That compares with opening 230 new U.S. stores during fiscal 2016. The retail behemoth is predicting net sales growth at or above 3 percent, driven by online sales and growth from existing stores for the next fiscal year. The company reiterated its per-share earnings guidance for next year and launched a two-year, $20 billion share repurchase program. Shares rose more than 5 percent on the news “No doubt we are in a transformational period of history,” said Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart Stores Inc., in an address Tuesday to investors at an annual meeting in Bentonville, Arkansas. “Our future is looking more digital.” The retailer is armoring up online to take on Amazon.com and more traditional rivals, like Target. Walmart paid more than $3 billion for online retailer Jet last year to speed its evolution. It’s been acquiring smaller players like ModCloth, Moosejaw and Bonobos. It’s also deploying digital kiosks called Pickup Towers at a hundred of its stores which spit out products bought on Walmart.com. But it has an eye on expanding on groceries online, an underserved market. Walmart has fast expanded...Read more
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