It looks like Walmart will have some time back at the drawing board when it comes to their great eCommerce upgrade of recent years. During the post-earnings call with investors, CEO Doug McMillon noted that while the progress has been strong, there is still more to do in this arena.
“We’re making progress on many fronts, but we need to do more and move faster, especially with our assortment including marketplace,” McMillon said in a statement, as reported by CNBC. “Our strength is being driven by food, which is good, but we need even more progress on Walmart.com with general merchandise. We’re mixing the business out better to achieve better margin rates, but there is more work to do. We’re committed to progress and building a larger, healthier eCommerce business. Our customers want that, our marketplace sellers want that, and so do we.”
Walmart eCommerce sales were up 41 percent in Q3 2019 – but as the retailer noted, most of that power was derived from their online grocery operation, which has been a consistently powerful producer since its rollout over two years ago. General online sales have been the source of a bit more strife this year – reports surfaced earlier in 2019 that Walmart’s eCommerce division was on track to lose more than $1 billion this year.
Said losses reportedly stirred up internal tensions between CEO McMillon, U.S. CEO Greg Foran and eCommerce chief Marc Lore. Foran has since stepped down from his position, replaced by former Sam’s Club CEO John Furner.
Walmart has worked to further expand its grocery offerings, including same-day delivery, while it has reprioritized some of its other attempted expansions. The retailer said in October that it will be selling Modcloth, one of the clothing brands it had purchased that remained stubbornly unprofitable. Still, given its strength in grocery, Walmart does remain fairly optimistic about its future potential in the eCommerce arena.
“Grocery pickup and delivery, along with new offerings like Unlimited Delivery and InHome Delivery, will help us unlock advantages we have to serve customers in a way that reduces friction and enhances convenience,” McMillon said. “We need to translate this repetitive food and consumable volume into a stronger Walmart.com business that’s profitable over time, so that’s what we’re working on.”