Wal-Mart to double down on digital

by MEAT+POULTRY Staff
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Walmart
Wal-Mart's online grocery service has expanded to more than 900 stores in the United States.
 
BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Wal-Mart US intends to prioritize digital experiences and store remodels over new stores in fiscal years 2018 and 2019, the company said at its annual shareholders meeting on Oct. 10. The company shared some guidance information for fiscal 2018 and strategic initiatives that will propel growth into fiscal 2019.

Doug
Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart

“We have good momentum in the business, we’re executing our strategy and moving with speed to win with the customer, who is more connected than ever and embracing tools that will save them both time and money,” Wal-Mart President and CEO Doug McMillon said. “We’re combining the accessibility of our stores with e-commerce to provide new and exciting ways for customers to shop. I’m proud of the team we have in place, the work we have underway and how we are positioned for success in the future.”

Wal-Mart is prepared to engage substantial resources behind its ambitions for digital dominance. The company expects capital expenditures to be approximately $11 billion in fiscal 2018 and 2019. During this period, according to the company, Wal-Mart will prioritize store remodels and digital experiences over new stores. The company also intends to enhance supply chain capabilities to support its e-commerce initiatives, while investing more in fulfillment capabilities.

Wal-Mart’s forecast for growth in e-commerce sales is an estimated 40 percent; and the company expects to add 1,000 online grocery locations. Consolidated net sales are expected to grow at or above 3 percent, driven by comp-sales and e-commerce growth, assuming currency exchange rates remain at current levels.

Meanwhile, global growth in new units is forecast at 280, to include new, expanded and relocated units for fiscal 2018 and 2019. Wal-Mart expects to open fewer than 15 Supercenters and fewer than 10 Neighborhood Markets in fiscal year 2019. Approximately 255 new stores will be focused in key markets such as Mexico and China, the company said.

“We’re proud of the progress we’re making,” McMillon said. “We’re equipping our associates with training and technology so they will continue to innovate in our stores, clubs and through e-commerce to find ways to deliver an enjoyable shopping experience for our customers that is easy, fast, friendly and fun.”

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