Walmart records grocery gains, improved e-commerce profitability in Q4

Dive Brief:

  • Walmart’s U.S. comparable-store sales excluding fuel rose 4% during its fourth quarter of fiscal year 2024 as the retailer saw a softening in general merchandise sales that partially offset strength in grocery and health and wellness. 
  • Walmart’s U.S. business saw mid-single-digit growth in grocery — a category that saw strong unit growth in fresh food. 
  • Walmart CFO John David Rainey told investors on a Tuesday earnings call that the retailer has improved e-commerce profitability stateside by lowering fulfillment costs and densifying its last mile operations.

Dive Insight:

Rainey said that Walmart lowered e-commerce losses by more than 40% compared to last year’s level. 

“Our store proximity to customers is an advantage as we increasingly use stores to fulfill e-commerce orders,” Rainey said. “We’ve lowered last-mile store to home delivery costs by about 40% in the last year even as we’ve shortened [same-day] delivery times from around 90% of stores.” 

Walmart U.S.’s e-commerce growth of 17% in Q4 reflects a double-digit increase in store-fulfilled pickup and delivery. Delivery, in particular, has been a bright spot. During Q4, the retailer’s store-fulfilled delivery sales were up nearly 50%, Rainey said.

“Delivery has been a key source of share gains among upper-income households and is also the most productive channel for acquiring Walmart+ members,” Rainey told investors.

Walmart’s Q4 marked the fourth consecutive quarter of slowing comp sales growth

Year-over-year change in the retailer’s U.S. same-store sales

Walmart said that its U.S. business recorded strong share gains in grocery and general merchandise in Q4, especially among higher income households. On the food front, Walmart made “strong” headway in both units and dollars for its grocery category, Rainey said. 

Walmart’s overall food and consumables pricing in Q4 was slightly higher than the same period a year ago, Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon said. Food prices were lower than a year ago for some items like eggs, apples and deli snacks but higher for other products like asparagus and blackberries, McMillon said.


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