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What Walmart Q2 Earnings Tells Us about Shopping Behavior

What Walmart Q2 Earnings Tells Us about Shopping Behavior

Walmart grew ecommerce sales 12% year-over-year in its latest fiscal quarter ended July 31, 2022 (which is its fiscal 2023 second quarter). It made a point of noting that online sales were up 18% when compared to the same quarter 2 years ago.

  • Walmart U.S. comp sales (same-store sales) grew 6.5% excluding fuel, and it continued to gain market share in grocery.
  • Total revenue was $152.9 billion, up 8.4%.
  • Global advertising business grew nearly 30%, led by Walmart Connect in the U.S. and Flipkart advertising

CNN reported that steep discounting helped the retailer’s revenue, though Walmart reported the discounting negatively impacted profits.

CNBC provided additional context about the impact of inflation on shopper behavior:

“Some of Walmart’s sales gains came from inflation, which is driving up prices of food and other items. The retailer’s reputation as a discounter is also attracting more middle- and high-income shoppers, Chief Financial Officer John David Rainey told CNBC. About three quarters of Walmart’s market share gains in food came from customers with annual household incomes of $100,000 or more.”

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said of the quarter: “We’re pleased to see more customers choosing Walmart during this inflationary period, and we’re working hard to support them as they prioritize their spending. The actions we’ve taken to improve inventory levels in the U.S., along with a heavier mix of sales in grocery put pressure on profit margin for Q2 and our outlook for the year. We made good progress throughout the quarter operationally to improve costs in our supply chain, and that work is ongoing. We continue to build on our strategy to expand our digital businesses, including the continued strength we see in our international markets.”

In an accompanying presentation on slide 9, Walmart commented on categories for its US business. With regard to General Merchandise, it showed growth of “mid single-digits” for the quarter and noted the following:

  • Softness in discretionary categories such as electronics, apparel and home products
  • Sales were solid in automotive, lawn & garden and back-to-school categories.

Slide 15 shows second-quarter category trends for Sam’s Club, you can find the full presentation on Walmart’s Investor Relations website along with the press release and other information.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.