Walmart seeks online edge with 35-second returns

Chelsea West
October 11, 2017

At least 30 percent of all products ordered online are returned, compared to an average of 9 percent of in-store purchases, according to online retail consultant Invesp.

The main change is that you no longer will need to ship back a returned item you bought online from

Further, the company said it would add 1,000 online grocery locations in Walmart U.S.

Walmart wmt expects little abatement in the pace of its torrid e-commerce growth next year, and the retailer's latest forecast sent shares up 2% on Tuesday. To accelerate its online expansion, Wal-Mart offers free two-day shipping on orders costing $35 or more, while promising consumers that returning online orders in its stores will take only 30 seconds, forcing Amazon to play catch-up. It's also rolled out curbside pickup of online grocery orders in about 1,000 of its USA stores, putting it way ahead of rival Target Corp., which only offers the service for non-perishable items in its hometown of Minneapolis. This reportedly applies to items that the store would have thrown out upon return anyway, like damaged bottles of shampoo. The feature will reportedly expand to store purchases next year.

To be sure, none of Wal-Mart's retail peers have made a similar promise - receive a refund without bringing an item back - of such a large scale. That represents a slowdown from about 20 this year.

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Taken together, Zolidis thinks it's a service that differentiates Wal-Mart.

For fiscal year 2019, the company's prognostication is for year-over-year adjusted earnings per share growth of 5 percent, translating to adjusted earnings per share of $4.52-$4.62.

Technical traders may be staring at recent indicator levels on shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. "We're executing our strategy and moving with speed to win with the customer, who is more connected than ever". Last year, Walmart tapped CEO Marc Lore to head up its USA efforts after online sales growth had slowed under his predecessor.

It's true, e-commerce players like Amazon don't have as vast a physical footprint as retailers like Wal-Mart, Target and Costco today.

Volume is the basic fuel of the market since stocks move up or down in price only when shares are trading hands. While talking about the groceries, Wal-Mart is already leading in the United States' market and is considered the best in driving over half its US earnings from this particular category.

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