Walmart is stocked up for the holidays — thanks to its pricey private ships
Stocked and loaded… Walmart’s holiday shopping carts. Walmart beat quarterly sales growth expectations, but profits plunged 40% from last year on higher supply and labor costs. FYI: Target, Macy”s and Kohls, which face similar supply and labor crunches, also report earnings this week.
- E-cart (still) strong: Walmart’s US e-commerce sales jumped 8% from last year and 87% from 2019.
- Mixed bag: While Walmart shares fell 3% on plunging profits, execs boosted holiday forecasts, saying there’s “excitement in the air.”
Ship, ship, hooray… US holiday spending is expected to hit a record $800B+ this season — great news for retailers with inventory, but a missed opportunity for those running short. Last month, shipments from Asia took twice as long and cost twice as much as pre-pandemic. Walmart, Home Depot, and Costco started paying for private ships as early as May to keep shelves stocked. Now…
- Walmart had 11.5% more inventory than last year, from clothes to Christmas trees.
- Home Depot reported stronger-than-expected sales partly because of inventory management (feat. chartered ships).
- Smaller retailers that can’t afford $140K/day private ships may be stuck: Half of small retailers say they expect supply-related holiday inventory shortages.
More problems can mean more money… for companies that can afford to tackle them. Everyone’s dealing with supply and labor headaches. But Walmart has the cash and infrastructure to handle them — and gain a competitive advantage in the process. Walmart is known for keeping prices steady as inflation rises, cutting into profits to attract more customers. The cost of keeping shelves stocked is high, but it could pay off in more market share. Other companies like Amazon, Chipotle are also spending big to overcome supply and labor obstacles and win customers.
Last time I checked Amazon was over $3400.