Walmart beat expectations for same-store sales growth, as an early start to the holiday season and a boost from stimulus money late in the fourth quarter drove demand for electronics, toys and groceries, reported Reuters (Feb. 18). Sales at U.S. stores open at least a year surged 8.6%, excluding fuel, well above analysts’ expectations of a 5.6% rise.
- The retail giant also reported that it will raise wages to more than $15 per hour on average. About half of Walmart’s hourly U.S. workers will earn at least $15 an hour, though some roles will start at $11 an hour.
- The company projected adjusted net sales to grow in the low single digits in fiscal 2022.
- Walmart finalized the sale of its majority stake in UK grocery chain Asda to TDR Capital and the billionaire Issa brothers, reported Nasdaq (Feb. 17).
Global food retailer Ahold Delhaize closed out fiscal 2020 with double-digit net and comparable sales gains for its U.S. supermarket business, driven in part by more than 100% growth in online sales, reported Supermarket News (Feb. 17).
For the fourth quarter, net sales at Ahold Delhaize USA climbed 18.7% to $13.62 billion from $11.47 billion a year ago. Comparable-store sales excluding gasoline grew 11.2% (10.2% including fuel sales). Online sales swelled 128.5% to $755 million from $330 million.
Fiscal 2020 U.S. net sales totaled $51.84 billion, up 15.6% from a year ago while online sales surged 105.1% to $2.26 billion.
Online sales were spurred by an accelerated rollout of the retailer’s click-and-collect service, from 883 pickup points in the third quarter to 1,116 by the end of the fourth quarter. By the end of fiscal 2021, Ahold plans to expand to about 1,400 sites and boost online capacity by another 30%.