Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
) e-commerce business has been performing quite well owing to
rising demand. The company has already developed price optimization
tools, improved its mobile applications and developed a new search
engine available on its websites. E-commerce sales grew over 30% to
more than $10 billion, including acquisitions in fiscal 2014, and
contributed approximately 30 basis points to Walmart's U.S. comps
in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014. Walmart is thus focused on
continued enhancements to its e-commerce platform through improved
Reportedly, Walmart ramped up its investments in digital
business with the purchase of a mobile app Stylr by its tech team
@WalmartLabs. The app allows shoppers to locate clothes in
nearby stores. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Stylr marks the 13
acquisition made by the WalmartLabs division in the last three
years. This signals the company's increasing focus on integrating
the company's online and in-store shopping experiences.
In May, 2014, Walmart's CEO stated that it might buy 3-D
printing companies as it believes that the technology could be used
in stores and at distribution centers to quickly print new products
and speed up shipments. Walmart had also tested 3-D printers at its
In 2013, Walmart acquired four companies - Torbit, OneOps, Tasty
Labs and Inkiru - that build tools to compress data and speed up
websites. Walmart's acquisition of a 51% interest in Newheight
Holdings Ltd, a holding company that owns Chinese Internet retailer
Yihaodian in Aug 2012 has strengthened its presence in the Chinese
Walmart expects to increase its global e-commerce sales to over
$13 billion in fiscal 2015, with continued focus on the U.S., U.K.,
China and Brazil. The websites in Canada and Mexico are doing well
and the company continues to invest in Pangaea, its global
technology platform, in order to drive sales across the retail
websites in the U.S., the U.K. and Brazil.
Walmart has been struggling of late and performed
disappointingly in all the four quarters of fiscal 2014 and the
first quarter of fiscal 2015. The company is therefore seeking new
ways to boost revenue amid macro-economic headwinds like
budget-strained customers, reductions in government benefits,
higher taxes, tighter credit and higher group healthcare costs.
The move to expand its e-commerce business will surely help the
company to combat a sluggish revenue environment. Walmart currently
holds a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
Some better-ranked retailers include
Ingles Markets, Incorporated
The Kroger Co.
), all of them holding a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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