Bentonville, AR — Walmart posted its best quarterly grocery sales growth in nine years and will offer home delivery to about 40% of the country by the end of 2018. Total ecommerce sales also grew 40% for the quarter.
The news came during the retailer’s quarterly earnings report in which it reported total revenue of $128 billion, an increase of $4.7 billion, or 3.8%. Comparable store sales were up 4.5% and it’s now offering grocery pickup in more than 1,800 locations. Average ticket price was up 2.3%.
Analysts credited an increased selection of low-price produce, meat and bakery items for fueling the growth.
Walmart’s Jet brand, targeting a younger demographic, is on track to open a fresh fulfillment center offering same-day grocery delivery to customers in the Bronx of New York City. JetBlack, a subscription service, will allow customers to text what they need and get it delivered the same day.
According to analysts at Cowen & Co., 86% of Walmart customers also shop at Amazon and a shift in food spending would have a negative effect on overall sales. The Jet offering is a direct response to Amazon Prime delivery.
Meanwhile, Aldi, the German discounter, continues to open new stores and aims to become the country’s third largest grocer with its expanded selection of fresh and organic food options. The no-frills Aldi is the antithesis of the experiential independent retailer.