BENTONVILLE, ARK. — Appealing to consumers in various income brackets, the delivery business has become a priority at Walmart.
“Delivery from a store has tripled in volume, almost tripled in volume over the last two years, and in the month of January, it was well over $1 billion for us,” said John David Rainey, chief financial officer, on March 7 at the Raymond James Institutional Investors Conference. “Now that tells you that consumers, our value proposition is resonating with them, and again, that convenience is something that appeals to every income demographic.”
Walmart is investing in delivery and e-commerce to attract consumers interested in convenience, he said. E-commerce sales increased 12% in the fiscal year ended Jan. 31. Growth in store-fulfilled pickup and delivery led to e-commerce sales growth of 17% in the fourth quarter.
Walmart Commerce Technologies and Walmart GoLocal in January partnered with Salesforce, a cloud-based software company headquartered in San Francisco, to provide retailers with access to technologies that power frictionless local pickup and delivery for shoppers. The partnership will assist retailers in leveraging local stores as fulfillment centers, managing local deliveries and managing customers’ omnichannel shopping experience across one platform.
Inflation has shifted more Walmart sales into grocery from general merchandise. Food sales increased by double-digit percentages in the fourth quarter.
“We've also seen a notable shift in terms of share gain for us in grocery,” Mr. Rainey said. “I think very importantly, we're seeing convenience really resonate in this environment as well.”He added, “We recognize that there's a lot of uncertainty in the environment right now, but I think importantly, we're a company that's positioned well in any type of environment. If the consumer is going to continue to be pressured with less disposable income, we think our value proposition resonates. On the other hand, if we get into a better economy that has more growth behind it, a lot of what we're doing really plays to that importantly around convenience and some of the things that we're doing in that area.”