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08/17/2021

Walmart shows no slowing down

Back-to-school store brand programs, e-commerce initiatives add to a second-straight positive financial quarter.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Walmart U.S. registered a same-store sales increase of 5.2% for the second quarter and 14.5% on a two-year stack basis, showing tremendous growth, and raising its outlook for the second straight quarter.

In Q1 2021, the retailer kicked off the fiscal year with a similar 6% increase in same-store sales, as well as double-digit growth online for Walmart and Sam’s Club.

Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart, said it had a strong second quarter in every part of its business. The retailer introduced new exclusive products during the quarter ended July 30 to help fuel growth, including a major back-to-school season push that highlighted its Pen + Gear store brand accessories for school, its own brand apparel brands featuring uniforms for a return to in-person school, and a brand-new tie-in with the tween brand Justice.

In cosmetics, the brand introduced new exclusives to bolster offerings for diverse shoppers such as the UOMA by Sharon C. partnership and a direct-to-consumer brand called Bubble that focuses on young skin care users.

"Our e-commerce sales are on track to reach $75 billion by the end of the year, further strengthening our position as a leader in omnichannel."
Dough McMillon , CEO, Walmart

The UOMA line was further promoted through a social media livestream, generating buzz online for the product, an example where Walmart had put a focus on e-commerce, which net online sales grew by 6% during the quarter, earning $98.2 billion. Comparing numbers over the past two years, e-commerce sales saw 103% growth.

“Our e-commerce sales are on track to reach $75 billion by the end of the year, further strengthening our position as a leader in omnichannel,” McMillion said.

The retailer struck a multi-year with Ibotta during the quarter that advanced ways for shoppers to use the mobile app and engage with Walmart.com and Walmart+.

Other key Q2 results include: total revenue reached $141 billion, up 2.4%; Walmart U.S.’s operating income increased 20.4% and Walmart International reported net sales of $23 billion, down $4.1 billion or 15.2%, negatively affected by $8.9 billion related to divestitures.

The retailer’s Sam’s Club operate showed a comp-store sales increase of 7.7% and e-commerce grew by 27% compared with the previous year.

Walmart touted a strong showing in its grocery business, too, growing market share in the category, increasing comparable transactions by 6.1%, driven by its physical store sales.

“We grew market share in U.S. grocery, added thousands of new sellers to our marketplace, rapidly grew advertising businesses around the world, and we’re finding innovative ways to commercialize our data and build technology,” McMillon said of the Q2 results. “We have a unique ecosystem of products and services designed to serve customers in broader, deeper ways, and we’re grateful to our associates for making it all happen.”