News

Walmart’s efforts to boost store experience lead to sales slump

BY Mike Troy

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Declining gas prices helped U.S. same-store sales at Walmart Stores, but the negative impact of foreign currency exchange and efforts to improve store experience and employee wages dampened total sales and operating profits.
 
Total company sales declined 0.1% to $114.8 billion, but increased 2.7% to 118.1 billion if the negative effect of currency exchange rates are excluded from the calculation. Net income declined 7% to $3.34 billion during the quarter ended April 30. Earnings per share of $1.03, although within the company’s guidance range of 95 cents to $1.10 were below the prior year’s level of $1.10.
 
In addition to the foreign exchange effect that the company said was greater than it expected, incremental investments in e-commerce dinged profits by another two cents as did investments in employee training and compensation announced earlier this year.
 
Sales at the U.S. stores division increased 3.5% to $70.2 billion, but operating profits declined 6.8% to $4.6 billion as Walmart invested in employee wages and added labor to stores as part of a broader effort to improve the shopping experience.
 
In April the company increased its minimum hourly wage to $9 and also put 8,000 department managers back on the sales floor.
 
“These department managers will have responsibility for a smaller area of the store ensuring that they have the knowledge and the time to engage with both the customers and store associates driving an overall better experience,” said Walmart U.S. president and CEO Greg Foran.
 
Foran added that U.S. comp sales growth was driven by a 1% increase in traffic as customer benefitted from lower gas prices and responded favorably to some of new assortments for spring and summer.
 
“All formats had positive comps for the quarter, including our traditional-format Neighborhood Markets, which posted approximately a 7.9% comp. A focus on customer service and in-stock position drove strong traffic in this format,” Foran said. “Customers continue to see the benefit of Neighborhood Markets to meet their everyday needs, including convenient access to services such as drive-thru pharmacies and fuel stations.”
 
Sam’s Club also had a challenging quarter with a lower than expected 0.4% same store sales increase and worse than expected profits. Operating profits declined 10.9% to $427 million even though membership increased 7%. In a vote of confidence, Walmart Stores president and CEO Doug McMillon said recently launched new services have promise for improved member acquisition and retention, and investments in Club Pick-up and e-commerce are starting to pay off.
 
“However, we need more consistent progress, and I’m confident that the strategic plan the Sam’s Club team is working on will lead to longer-term improvements in our club business,” McMillon said.
keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

POLLS

Which area of the industry do you think Amazon’s entry would shake up the most?
News

Walgreens to provide Hep-C screenings in 12 markets

BY Michael Johnsen

CLARK, N.J. — The Chronic Liver Disease Foundation announced Tuesday that it's collaborating with Walgreens to offer free Hepatitis C (HCV) testing with the OraQuick HCV Rapid Test at more than 60 Walgreens retail pharmacies in 12 major cities throughout the country.
 
The program, which is slated to launch this August and run through January 2016, will offer free rapid HCV testing on specific days and times each week to patients at risk for HCV. Rapid testing and patient education will be conducted by trained healthcare professionals on site at each retail location and individuals who test positive will be linked directly to one of CLDF's 75 Hepatology Centers of Expertise throughout the United States. 
 
"The rapid hepatitis testing program demonstrates our commitment to helping patients access important information that can help to improve their health," said Glen Pietrandoni, senior director, virology, Walgreens. "We are proud to collaborate with the Chronic Liver Disease Foundation on this initiative. Through this testing program we can help people become educated on the risk factors, identify people infected with HCV and help them get linked to appropriate care."
 
"Today, approximately 5.2 million Americans have hepatitis C and the vast majority does not know it," said Willis Maddrey, president of the Chronic Liver Disease Foundation. "However, new therapies are now available that can effectively treat and cure hepatitis C.
 
Each year, about 17,000 Americans become infected with Hepatitis C. Up to 75% of people with chronic Hepatitis C infection were born during 1945-1965, and up to three out of four people infected with Hepatitis C are unaware of their infection.
 
OraQuick HCV is the first and only FDA-approved and CLIA-waived point of care test for detection of HCV infection in at-risk individuals. The platform allows healthcare providers to deliver an accurate diagnosis in 20 minutes, using venipuncture or fingerstick blood. The test is manufactured by OraSure Technologies in Bethlehem, Pa.
keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

POLLS

Which area of the industry do you think Amazon’s entry would shake up the most?
News

Bartell Drugs to celebrate opening of 63rd location

BY Antoinette Alexander

SEATTLE — Celebrating its milestone 125th anniversary, family-owned Bartell Drugs opens its 63rd store on May 22 in Lynnwood, Wash., with a lineup of festivities planned for May 30.
 


With its distinctive clock tower, the 15,000-square-foot-store will spotlight a variety of “next generation” features, including a full service pharmacy; the “Beauty” cosmetics section; the “Urban Market” with regionally-produced products; Bartells’ “Sweets & Snacks” section; and the Print Studio. For added convenience, the store has a drive-through window for pharmacy customers.
 


Grand opening festivities scheduled for May 30 include:


• A free hot dog “cookout” served up by volunteers from the Lynnwood Rotary;

• A performance by the “AMS Jazz Band” from Alderwood Middle School;

• Free or discounted health screening services for blood pressure, cholesterol, bone density and diabetes/glucose in the pharmacy area;

• A wide range of vendors offering free samples or special offers, including KIND Bar, Nuun, Seattle Chocolates and Bodyceuticals, plus “Spin the Wheel” opportunities for prizes.

• Free drawings for prizes, including two tickets to a Kenny Chesney concert, dinner at the Space Needle and a $50 Bartell Drugs gift card; and

• 94.1 KMPS on-the-air personalities broadcasting live.

• A ceremonial ribbon cutting is scheduled for May 28 as customers, members of the Bartell family, employees, vendors and local dignitaries officially celebrate the store’s opening.



“The store is conveniently located in one of the region’s most vibrant retail areas, and we look forward to serving the health and wellness needs of local residents, employees in nearby retail centers, and shoppers visiting the area,” stated Bartell Drugs chairman George Bartell. 


 

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

POLLS

Which area of the industry do you think Amazon’s entry would shake up the most?