Discount retail giant Walmart reported rising comparable sales bolstered by a whopping 63-percent growth in its e-commerce business. The bulk of the online sales growth was organic through Walmart.com.
"This is extraordinary growth, and we're pleased with the traction we're generating across our e-commerce offerings," said Walmart CFO Brett Biggs.
The world's largest retailer has made major investments in its e-commerce strategy as it tries to compete with Amazon, including its $3 billion acquisition last year of Jet.com.
In the first quarter alone, Walmart nixed the membership fee requirement for two-day shipping, and also rolled out pickup discounts, which offers customers reduced prices on online-only items if they opt to pick up their orders in-store.
Walmart's e-commerce site now sells more than 50 million different types of items, which is still just a fraction of Amazon's inventory but five times more that it offered just one year ago. Customer traffic at Walmart also increased at a time when other major retailers are seeing declines.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said the company has worked successfully to combine its digital and physical assets but notes that he wants to scale Walmart's e-commerce business even further.
"We're transforming to become more of a digital enterprise," McMillon said. "The change is starting to be visible to our customers as they use online grocery, Walmart Pay, Scan & Go at Sam's Club and our Walmart app. Online grocery also continues to perform well and we're on track to scale the offering to more stores this year in several countries, including the US."
As for the numbers, Walmart said Q1 revenue was $117.54 billion with earnings of $1 per share. Wall Street was expecting revenue of $117.63 billion with earnings of 96 cents a share. For its second quarter, Walmart said it expects earnings in the range of $1 to $1.08 a share. Wall Street expects earnings of $1.07 a share.