Retail today revolves around online sales; a statement that isn’t universally true, but for the largest competitors in retail as a whole, it certainly is.
Wal-Mart is definitely in that conversation, as they have been for some time. The company saw a very strong Q1 that stands as the continuation of their online-fueled momentum. In fact, according to Bloomberg, their sales growth represents the fastest pace in over five years.
Net sales rose to $116.5 billion, as compared to $114.9 billion one year prior. The same can be seen in the growth of their total revenue, rising to $117.5 billion versus last year’s $115.9 billion respectively. Earnings per share also saw a moderate increase as a result, improving to $1 from 98 cents comparatively.
Even the only blemish on Wal-Mart’s Q1 results, a decrease in net profits, holds a silver lining worth being excited. Though it fell to $3.039 billion from $3.079 billion, a 1.3 percent difference, that statistic is somewhat skewed considering the elevated tax rate faced by the retail chain.
Aside from Amazon, Wal-Mart holds a prominent spot at the top of of the retail food chain, partly due to their own as well as acquired online sales. Their acquisition of Jet.com comes to mind, but the retailer’s war with Amazon over shipping costs has made the competition between the two all the more interesting.
The war of shipping get more intriguing with every volley thrown from Wal-Mart towards their largest competition, first dropping minimum purchase cost to $35 for free shipping before then removing their annual subscription, Savingspass. Amazon would counter by lowering their minimum price to $25, with Target even following suit, but it seems that neither is making a dent in the retail armor that Wal-Mart has built to date.