Walmart sales soared as Americans stockpiled groceries and household essentials during the CCP virus pandemic.
The retailer said Tuesday that sales at stores open for at least a year soared 10 percent in the three months ending on April 30, compared with the year prior. Online sales spiked 74 percent.
Walmart is this countrys largest retailer and has benefited from shifting shopping patterns during the crisis. Consumers cut back on some discretionary spending but continued to buy food and household goods as they sheltered at home. Walmart said it got a boost in April from shoppers using their government stimulus payments.
The companys investments in e-commerce also paid off in the quarter. To fight Amazon, Walmart had built out its curbside pickup and home delivery network for groceries in recent years. Walmart has nearly 3,300 store pickup locations, and more than 1,850 stores offered same-day grocery delivery.
“We experienced unprecedented demand in categories like paper goods, surface cleaners, and grocery staples,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said on the companys earnings call. “For many of these items, we were selling in two or three hours what we normally sell in two or three days.”
In addition to groceries, electronics, toys, sporting goods, and arts and craft sales were also strong, the company said. McMillon told analysts that Walmart was having trouble keeping laptops, office chairs, and fabric in stock. But clothing sales dropped 14 percent last quarter.
Americans slowed their trips to stores but bought in bulk when they shopped. Although Walmart recorded nearly 6 percent fewer transactions during the past three months, the average receipt soared 16.5 percent, the company said.
A similar trend played out at Home Depot amid the pandemic: Transactions at stores last quarter dipped 4 percent, but the average receipt jumped 11 percent, the company said Tuesday.
Walmart and Home Depot were deemed “essential” businesses during the crisis and kept stores open.
Retailers that were forced to shutter stores, such as Kohls, struggled. Kohls said Tuesday that its total sales dropped 43 percent last quarter compared with the same time frame last year.
The pandemic has crushed much of the retail sector and tipped several chains, including JCPenney, J.Crew, and Neiman Marcus, into bankruptcy.