Walmart Grows e-Commerce Brand, But Hasn’t Yet Reached Profitability

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As Walmart battles Amazon, investors tally up the damages.

Walmart has been sinking millions of dollars into setting up an e-commerce network that can rival Amazon’s stranglehold on the industry. In some sectors, it’s managing to put up a decent fight; one of its most successful ventures so far has been online grocery pickup. By the end of Q3, over 3,000 of its locations supported online grocery pickup, and over 1,400 of its locations featured same-day grocery delivery. However, in its brute force approach to e-commerce, Walmart has burned a not-so-insignificant amount of money on ventures that didn’t pan out. These include several failed apparel labels, as well as specialized delivery services in more affluent neighborhoods. Altogether, Walmart has lost at least $2 billion on its e-commerce ventures. So when are things going to start looking up?

Analysts have varied opinions on the matter. Some believe that after a couple of years of taking licks, Walmart has amassed enough experience and connections that it can make an actual go at competing with Amazon this year. The grocery delivery services will be the lynchpin of these efforts. Others, however, see more multi-billion dollar losses on the horizon. These fears have been stoked by coronavirus concerns, since many of Walmart’s products, both of their own branding and of other brands, are Chinese-made.

For Q4, analysts are predicting a $1.44 per share price tag on $142.54 billion in revenue. That is about a 2.7% growth compared to last year, so Walmart is definitely getting somewhere with its efforts, but whether it’ll get there before the damages rise too high is still uncertain.

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