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How Walmart is extending its technology and delivery networks to third parties

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Walmart is known for its grocery and general merchandise offerings. Total revenue for its latest financial year, to 31 January 2021, reached £404bn ($559bn), with sales in the US increasing by 8.7%. The retail behemoth has more than 4,500 Walmart-branded bricks-and-mortar stores in the US alone. A further 5,342 operate as Sam’s Club, while it has a further 5,762 bricks-and-mortar stores outside of the US. Overall, Walmart employs more than 2.3 million people globally.

The growth reported by the company in 2020 continued into 2021, with both sales increasing and the retailer growing its share of the US grocery market. Online sales have doubled over the last two years, with Walmart US reporting growth of 103% over two years and 6% in its most recent financial quarter. Ecommerce sales at Sam’s Club grew 27%. However, international sales were down 15.2% in the three months to 30 July 2021.

The company was happy with the results. As Doug McMillon, the company’s president and CEO said at the time, “We had another strong quarter in every part of our business. Our global ecommerce sales are on track to reach £54.26bn ($75bn) by the end of the year, further strengthening our position as a leader in omnichannel. We grew market share in US grocery, added thousands of new sellers to our marketplace, rapidly grew advertising businesses around the world and we’re finding innovative ways to commercialise our data and build technology. We have a unique ecosystem of products and services designed to serve customers in broader, deeper ways and we’re grateful to our associates for making it all happen.”

Walmart is on a path to diversify its business. In August, it announced Walmart GoLocal, a white-label delivery service which utilises expertise it’s built up in recent years as it scaled its own commerce capabilities. Walmart GoLocal took the company three years to launch and scale delivery and Express delivery for its customers on more than 160,000 items from more than 3,000 stores, reaching nearly 70% of the US population. Its delivery network includes drones, autonomous vehicles and fulfilment centres. One of the first US retailers to utilise Walmart’s same-day and next-day delivery service is DIY retailer, The Home Depot.

The launch of Walmart GoLocal came weeks after the retailer announced its plans to begin offering technologies and capabilities to help other businesses navigate their own digital transformation. The retailer formed a commercialisation partnership with Adobe to integrate Walmart’s Marketplace, online and in-store fulfilment and pickup technologies with Adobe Commerce.

“We’ve built new capabilities to serve the evolving needs of our own customers and we have a unique opportunity to use our experience to help other businesses do the same. Commercialising our technologies helps us sustainably reinvest back into our customer value proposition”, said John Furner, chief executive officer at Walmart US.

This article was originally featured in the USA 2021: Ecommerce Country Report. Download the full report here to find out more about the US consumer, including payment preferences, aftermath of the pandemic and the roadmap to a more sustainable future.

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