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Walmart Surpasses Apple’s Share Of Online Sales, Raises Annual Earnings Forecast

  • Written by  Glenn Taylor
Walmart Surpasses Apple’s Share Of Online Sales, Raises Annual Earnings Forecast

By the end of 2018, Walmart (which includes Walmart, Sam’s Club and Jet.com) will capture 4.0% of all U.S. online retail spending, totaling $20.91 billion, according to eMarketer. With this growth, Walmart will leapfrog Apple (3.9%) to become the third-largest e-Commerce retailer in the U.S., behind Amazon (48.0%) and eBay (7.2%).

Perhaps even more impressive for the retail giant, Walmart already has outpaced eMarketer’s July 2018 forecast, which indicated that it would capture a 3.7% e-Commerce share this year.Walmart’s U.S. online sales will grow by 39.4% in 2018, a growth rate surpassed only by Wayfair’s 40.1%. While Walmart is still far below Amazon’s market share, its sales growth rate is significantly higher than the e-Commerce giant’s 29% annual jump.

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Walmart has even more reasons to celebrate as the holiday season approaches. After a 43% rise in Q3 U.S. e-Commerce sales, the big box retailer raised its full-year forecast for U.S. earnings and same-store sales in expectation of a strong season. For the fiscal year ending Jan. 25, 2019, Walmart now anticipates adjusted earnings per share between $4.75 and $4.85, versus previous guidance of $4.65 to $4.80. The company initially expected U.S. comparable store sales for the year to be “about 3%,” but has since raised that number to “at least 3%.”

In Q3, Walmart saw:

  • Adjusted earnings per share of $1.08 vs. $1.01 expected;
  • Total revenue growth of 1.7% to $124.89 billion vs. $125.55 billion expected; and
  • Same-store sales up 3.4% in the U.S. vs. 3.1% growth expected.

On top of its quarterly success, Walmart unveiled that its grocery pickup service is now available in 2,100 locations and grocery delivery is available in 600 locations.

“The leveraging of its massive store network as a key driver of its prodigious online growth on a sizeable base continues at a rapid clip, with its grocery business leading this charge, and we expect the expansion of food pickup to continue to resonate with consumers for the foreseeable future, producing further market share gains in this key category,” said Charlie O’Shea, Lead Retail Analyst at Moody’s in commentary provided to Retail TouchPoints. “The raising of guidance for Q4 is consistent with our view that Walmart will be one of the pace-setters this holiday season.”

Walmart has been taking its holiday strategies up a notch amid the heavy competition, rolling out a new “check out with me” checkout experience within its stores. The retailer will give associates mobile devices that can scan bulky items such as flat-screen TVs and heavy furniture, enabling customers to immediately pay with a credit card and bypass checkout lines. Walmart also has launched mobile app-based store maps uniquely created for each Walmart store, designed to help shoppers find items faster this holiday season.

Additionally, in October Walmart added “millions” more products that can be delivered with free two-day shipping.Walmart also has been preparing for the holidays by expanding its collection of toys by 30% in-store and 40% online. Additionally, the retailer has released a list of the season’s 40 hottest toys, as chosen by kids, to simplify parents’ decision-making.

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