Photo: Jeff Chiu / AP
The reigning heavyweight champion of brick-and-mortar retail is making a name for itself in e-commerce, with Walmart announcing that online sales grew 50% in the third quarter, powering the company's revenue past analyst expectations.
Why it matters: Acquisitions of e-commerce upstarts like Jet.com, Modcloth, and Bonobos have helped supercharge online growth, but Walmart.com is also benefiting from innovations like free two-day delivery on orders more than $35 and curbside pick-up.
The better than expected numbers were about more than e-commerce:
- Same-store sales rose by 2.7%, well above analyst expectations of 1.7%.
- Grocery sales were strong, powering the average customer spend 1.2% and illustrating customers durable preference so far for brick-and-mortar grocery shopping.
- Walmart stock is up 4% in early trading.
One problem was a decline in operating income due to shrinking profit margins as Walmart and subsidiaries like Jet.com invest heavily in discounting aimed at growing market share.