Walmart Online Sales Were up a Staggering 63 Percent Last Quarter
By Lauren Thomas, Special to CNBC.com
Wal-Mart grew its e-commerce sales by a whopping 63 percent during the latest quarter, compared to 29 percent growth last quarter.
The big-box retailer has been making strides to expand and improve its e-commerce platform amid an online battle with players like Amazon and Target.
Wal-Mart's recent acquisition of Jet.com, its competitive free-shipping threshold of $35 and its overall lower prices relative to peers have allowed the traditionally brick-and-mortar retailer to make gains online.
Shares of Wal-Mart's stock were climbing around 1 percent during premarket trading following this news.
"We delivered a solid first quarter and we're encouraged by the start to the year," Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement. "We're moving faster to combine our digital and physical assets to make shopping simple and easy for customers. Our plan is gaining traction."
On Wednesday, big-box retail rival Target reported earnings, sales and comparable sales that topped Street expectations. Target is in the midst of a multiyear turnaround effort, as it attempts to compete with Wal-Mart's "Everyday Low Price" strategy and Amazon's encroaching presence over the industry.
"While [Target] is not trying to directly undercut Walmart on prices, it is trying to use everyday lower prices on daily use items to drive customers into remodeled stores that provide a better experience than Walmart," wrote Stifel analyst Mark Astrachan in a note to clients prior to Thursday's earnings announcement.
As of Wednesday's close, shares of Wal-Mart have climbed nearly 19 percent over the past 12 months and are up about 9 percent for the year-to-date period.