Walmart online growth slashed by a third

Walmart has seen its online revenues slump despite clawing back a chunk of the grocery market.

Digital sales plummeted to 6 per cent, down from 37 per cent in the first quarter and the record 97 per cent in 2020.

Chief executive Doug McMillion admitted that online growth had “slowed” as the US retailer “layered on top of tremendous growth last year”.

Nevertheless, it is expected to reach e-commerce sales of $75 billion by the end of 2021.

READ MORE: Grocery sales slide as customers retreat from online shopping

Revenue to July 31 reached $141.05 billion versus an anticipated $137.17 billion.

Its better-than-expected performance convinced Walmart to raise its forecasts for store sales in 2022 by five per cent.

Food sales grew by $2.4 billion compared to last year, which chief financial officer Brett Biggs attributed to the supermarket’s better prices and management in a CNBC interview.

Store sales stood at 5.2 per cent: up from projections of 3.3 per cent.

Nevertheless, it marked a dip of four per cent year-on-year after the wave of panic-buying in the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over the past two years, Walmart’s in-store sales have increased by 14.5 per cent.

The retailer reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.78, comfortably beating forecasts of $1.57.

British shoppers have also edged away from e-commerce, with online sales recently falling to their lowest level since October.

In the four weeks to August 8, the share of households ordering from supermarkets dropped to 20.3 per cent, down from a peak of 23.4 per cent in February.

“Those who have come to love the convenience of an online shop are sticking with it,” Kantar consumer insight head Fraser McKevitt noted.

“But the unconverted are starting to drop away, preferring to get back to store instead.”

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