On the mark online
In the e-commerce arena, Wal-Mart saw global sales increase more than 30% in the first half of 2013, compared with 2013.
Simon said the company launched a locker test site in the Washington D.C. area that is receiving 90% positive feedback from customers. He said response to the “ship from store” program that offers delivery in two days has also been positive.
Neil Ashe, head of Wal-Mart’s global e-commerce initiative, said the retailer has doubled the number of products available on walmart.com in the first half of 2013 and plans to double that number again by the end of the fourth quarter. The “pick up today” program has triple the number of items available and is seeing increased consumer participation.
A pilot of a grocery delivery program in California’s San Francisco and San José markets is receiving high marks from customers. Ashe said 83% of customers said they would recommend the program to others. The program is securing new customers, also. Ashe reported 75% of those who used the pilot service said they would have used another retailer if the delivery option was not available.
Internationally, the retailer’s e-commerce business is logging huge growth numbers with a tenfold increase in mobile sales in China during the first half of 2012. Ashe said Latin America and South America are also embracing online shopping, with the Wal-Mart site being the largest e-commerce website in that country.
New stores opening
The multi-national retailer continues to increase its presence in the U.S., Simon said.
In the second quarter the retailer added 49 new “units” Simon said, which translates into 4.1 million incremental square feet. Of those stores, 29 are supercenters and 35 are small-store formats including Neighborhood Markets and Express stores.
The 2013 second quarter saw the retailer open more new Neighborhood Markets than any other single quarter. In a single day during the quarter a dozen of the smaller format stores opened.
“In the third quarter, we’re planning to open approximately 90 units, representing 7 million additional square feet,” Simon said.