As shutdown orders have closed other retailers without grocery stores attached, Walmart has been the only place open to many would-be shoppers. Walmart’s sales have surged during the coronavirus shutdown. Sarah Nassauer writes in The Wall Street Journal:
Walmart Inc. WMT +0.54% is reaping the rewards of being one of few retailers positioned to successfully navigate a global pandemic, reporting a surge in quarterly sales as consumers turned to its giant stores to stock up on food and household goods.
The country’s largest retailer said U.S. comparable sales, those from stores and digital channels operating for at least 12 months, rose 10% in the quarter ended May 1. It was a period when the new coronavirus upended consumer buying habits, forced many competitors to temporarily close and led more than 30 million Americans to file for unemployment.
Walmart’s U.S. foot traffic fell in the quarter, but spending per transaction rose 16.5%. Walmart sales got a boost in April when shoppers spent government stimulus money, the company said. E-commerce sales jumped 74% as millions of customers switched to ordering online for home delivery or picking up groceries in the company’s parking lots.
The company said it absorbed about $900 million in additional costs related to Covid-19, including raising wages for warehouse workers and paying bonuses to its store staff. It also hired 235,000 new hourly workers to help it staff stores. However, Walmart still reported a higher operating profit for the period.
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