Walmart’s revenue for its fourth quarter and fiscal 2021 grew 7.5 per cent and 7.7 per cent respectively (US $152.3 billion and US $559.2 billion), but the big box retailer’s performance fell short of investor expectations, according to business reports.
For its 2021 fourth quarter, ecommerce sales in the U.S. grew by close to 70 per cent and while it’s significant growth, market analysts say it’s the slowest growth rate since the start of the pandemic.
Despite this, Walmart reported record fourth quarter and fiscal 2021 revenue and announced a US $14 billion capital expenditure investment for fiscal 2022, noting that it expects to see higher growth percentage in net sales for Walmart International in (Canada and Mexico) in fiscal 2022 than that of the U.S., excluding divestitures.
Walmart International saw net sales in the fourth quarter increase 5.5 per cent to US $34.9 billion and net sales for fiscal 2021 increase 1.0 per cent.
“We completed a strong year and a strong Q4 thanks to our amazing associates. They stepped up to serve our customers and members exceptionally well during a busy holiday period in the midst of a pandemic,” says Walmart president and CEO, Doug McMillon. “Change in retail accelerated in 2020. The capabilities we’ve built in previous years put us ahead, and we’re going to stay ahead. Our business is strong, and we’re making it even stronger with targeted investments to accelerate growth, including raises for 425,000 associates in frontline roles driving the customer experience.”
McMillon says the company has stepped up investments to keep up with rapid retail changes in the past year.
For fiscal 2022, capital expenditures are expected to be about $14 billion, with a focus on supply chain, automation, customer-facing initiatives and technology, also announcing it will increase the wage of workers in the U.S. to an average hourly rate of above $15 per hour.
“This is a time to be even more aggressive because of the opportunity we see in front of us,” added McMillon. “The strategy, team and capabilities are in place. We have momentum with customers, and our financial position is strong.”