Walmart's Q2 e-commerce growth bolstered by online grocery, Prime Day sales bump

Walmart also gave a nod to its "four-day July sales event" that countered Amazon Prime Day for giving its Q2 e-commerce sales a boost.

Walmart's e-commerce business continues to be a bright spot in the company's sales growth, with online grocery contributing significantly to its gains in digital. Walmart also gave a nod to its "four-day July sales event" that countered Amazon Prime Day for giving its Q2 e-commerce sales a boost.

Overall, the world's largest retailer reported comparable sales growth of 2.8%, while online sales grew at a rate of 37%. 

For its grocery business, Walmart said the gradual rollout of its grocery delivery service bolstered its broader e-commerce sales.

The company said that grocery pickup is now available in more than 2,700 locations and delivery is available over 1,100 locations. The retailer expects to offer grocery pickup at 3,100 of its stores and delivery at 1,600 of those locations by year-end. Walmart also said its NextDay delivery service now covers about 75% of the US population.

Walmart's online grocery and e-commerce strategy -- which relies heavily on the chain's enormous physical footprint -- lines up with the company's broader omnichannel efforts as it chases Amazon's success online. 

"Having stores close to customers is a competitive advantage and we're leveraging that to provide convenience through grocery pickup and delivery, pickup towers, and the in-home delivery test that will launch this fall," said Walmart CFO Brett Biggs. "Customers want options in how they receive goods, and we are the best positioned in the industry to provide choices through our omni-channel offering." 

As for the numbers, Walmart reported net income of $3.6 billion, or $1.26 a share. Revenue came to $130.4 billion with non-GAAP earnings of $1.27 a share. Analysts expected revenue of $130.08 billion and earnings of $1.22 a share. 

For fiscal 2020, Walmart is now calling for adjusted earnings per share to range between a slight decrease to a slight increase, up from its prior forecast calling for a low-single-digit percentage decline. The retailer expects US same-store sales to lean toward the upper end of a prior range of 2.5% to 3% growth.

Shares of Walmart were up about 5% in early trading.