Walmart reports surge in holiday sales as shoppers seek value

Walmart reports surge in holiday sales as shoppers seek value

Walmart reports surge in holiday sales as shoppers seek value

Walmart said its same-store sales rose 4% in the three months ended in late January from a year earlier. The number of transactions at Walmart increased 4.3 percent while the average ticket price decreased slightly by 0.3 percent, a sign that shoppers spent a little less while shopping.

In addition to its same-store sales, Walmart said its U.S. e-commerce business grew 17 percent.

John David Rainey, Walmart’s chief financial officer, said losses in the retailer’s e-commerce business were slowing, the company was spending less on fulfillment costs and more customers were using its delivery services .

Walmart is one of the first major retailers to report fourth-quarter results. Companies such as Target, Macy’s and Kroger will do so in the coming weeks.

Compared to previous years, the last holiday season was largely spared from the disruptions caused by the pandemic. Supply chain bottlenecks have eased, customers are back in stores and inflation has slowed. Across the industry, holiday sales increased 3.8 percent, according to a January release from the National Retail Federation. This was within the range predicted by the professional organization in November.

At the same time, many retailers, including Walmart, focused on value last year as the economy cooled and shoppers became more selective. Walmart’s large grocery business and emphasis on low prices have helped protect it from sales declines reported by other retailers.

Analysts expect retail sales to continue to moderate this year after a surge in consumer spending at the start of the pandemic.

Some signs are already appearing. United States retail sales fell 0.8 percent in January compared to the previous month, according to data released last week by the Commerce Department. It was a bigger loss than expected. Last month’s inflation also slowed less than expected.

Still, Walmart sees this as a time to expand. On Tuesday, it said it expected its net sales and operating profit to increase this year. Last month, it announced plans to open 150 new locations, a huge jump from recent years. He also increased salaries, bonuses and benefits for store managers in an effort to retain them.