Walmart’s financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2020, released this morning, show U.S. same store sales up by 3.4 per cent; in Canada they rose 1.2 per cent.
The rise in U.S. same store sales was the highest for Q1 in nine years. Revenue during the quarter was about $126 billion, up 1.0 per cent against Q1 2019.
E-commerce sales growth in the U.S. was 37 per cent, with online grocery sales a key contributor.
In grocery, sales in the snack & beverages and pet categories were particularly strong. Walmart says customers are responding well to its pricing strategy, omni-channel offer and enhanced private brands. Pharmacy same-store sales were boosted by inflation in branded drug prices.
In Canada, net sales were up 1.3 per cent, with same store sales growth of 1.2 per cent; sales were particularly strong in grocery and fresh products. At the same time, a shift in the sales mix toward the lower margin grocery categories contributed to declines in gross profit and operating income.
“We’re confident that our focus on the customer, as evidenced by gains in satisfaction scores, will enable us to improve our performance during the year,” president and CEO Doug McMillon noted in reference to the Canadian results.
Walmart continues to invest in its ongoing e-commerce battle with Amazon. This week it announced plans for a progressive rollout of free next day delivery in the U.S. on orders of $35 or more – as we report elsewhere in this edition.
Walmart's full Q1 results are available here.