Walmart delivered a mixed bag in the first quarter, beating Wall Street expectations on profit, but revenue fell short.
The nation’s largest retailer posted another quarter of same-stores sales growth Thursday, while e-commerce sales soared.
The company reported first quarter net income of US$3.84 billion, and revenue of $123.93 billion, missing forecasts for $125.33 billion. The company said U.S. sales at stores opened at least a year rose 3.4%. The number of transactions in its stores and clubs as well as its e-commerce business rose 1.1%.
U.S. e-commerce business rose 37%. The report Thursday provided more evidence that Walmart’s efforts to expand online grocery services, including curbside pickup and home delivery, has helped it keep up its arms race with Amazon.
The company has about 2,450 stores that offer free grocery pickup for customers who shop online. It also has nearly 1,000 stores that offer same day grocery delivery.
Walmart is also testing new innovative ways to cut costs and make workers more efficiently. It officially opened a lab in a Neighborhood Store in Levittown, N.Y., that has thousands of cameras that mind the store and help keep track of items that need to be replenished. It’s hoping to scale some of the technology to other stores.
Walmart International, which includes operations in Canada, China, India, Mexico and the United Kingdom, reported US$28.8 billion in net sales for the quarter–a decline of 4.9%. Excluding currency, net sales were $30.6 billion, an increase of 1.2%.