Our retail news roundup today looks at Walmart, where it’s having the most success and how its staying ahead of its biggest retail industry competitors. As widely reported, Walmart will stop accepting Visa cards in Canada due to “unacceptably high” merchant fees. Fortune magazine offered five surprising things you didn’t know about Walmart. CEO Doug McMillon said the company will depend on new partnerships and investments in technology to help improve company sales and growth. A new mobile app for price matching could be a winner with Walmart shoppers.
Bloomberg reports Walmart Q1 2016 revenues totaled $115.9 billion, beating expectations of $113.3 billion. The company said it will test drones for inventory control in addition to potential future home deliveries. A new partnership with Uber and Lyft we’ll give Walmart online shoppers delivery of groceries to home. Walmart began testing a $49 annual, two-day unlimited delivery subscription service called “Shipping pass”Pin the US. Could this be an Amazon slayer?
Walmart Canada to stop accepting Visa cards due to ‘unacceptably high’ fees
Walmart says it intends to join the list of retailers in Canada that don’t accept Visa cards, citing high fees for transactions. It’s a move one retail analyst has said will cause “pain on all sides.”
All credit cards charge fees to retailers, which generally are between one per cent and 2.5 per cent of the cost what’s being sold. The fees vary depending on the type of card the customer is using — cash-back and premium cards generally have higher fees — and the type of retailer they’re shopping at.
Walmart Canada quietly made the announcement on Saturday that it would gradually stop accepting Visa cards at all of its locations, citing “unacceptably high” fees. But a statement from Visa said the credit card company offers “one of the lowest rates available to any merchant in the country.” Via cbc.ca
5 surprising things about Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores WMT 0.07% topped the Fortune 500 for the 4th year in a row despite clocking in its first decline in total sales ever, as the strong U.S. dollar hurt sales overseas. Still, Wal-Mart Stores is looking to reinvent itself by becoming an e-commerce power house and re-inventing its grocery business.
The retail giant has given hundreds of thousands of workers raises, resulting in improving customer service scores, built a mobile payment app of its own and is doubling down on organic and fresh food to stand out in the crowded retail industry. Comparable U.S. sales rose each quarter, while more shoppers came to its domestic stores in 2015, but executives readily admit there is still a lot of work to do. Via fortune.com
Walmart plans to change the future of retail and fix some of its biggest mistakes
Walmart is preparing for a new era of retail with major new partnerships and investments in technology. “We have the opportunity to reimagine retail again,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a keynote speech at Walmart’s annual shareholders meeting on Friday.
Walmart may have fallen behind in the e-commerce race, but, at the shareholders meeting McMillon and other executives have been eager to forecast a new, digitally focused future for Walmart.
Top on the list in reimagined retail is Walmart’s partnership with Lyft and Uber. Within two weeks, the retailer is launching a pilot program with Uber in Denver and Lyft in Phoenix. Customers buying groceries online will have the option to have their orders delivered for the existing delivery fee of $7 to $10. Via yahoo.com
Will mobile-driven price matching accelerate as Walmart doubles down?
Walmart is reportedly discontinuing price matching from a printed circular in 500 stores, but the retailer will continue to offer customers at these stores an in-application equivalent, an approach that could accelerate as more retailers recognize the benefits.
Walmart is currently the only major retailer offering a mobile price-matching program although Best Buy is offering a similar service in less formalized way. More retailers are likely to follow suit as they recognize the benefits of providing in-app services that keep valuable shoppers coming back.
“It’s clear that Walmart knows that its most loyal – and valuable – customer is the mobile app user, and the retailer is willing to extend preferential treatment such as price matching to those customers exclusively,” said Maya Mikhailov, chief marketing officer and co-founder at GPShopper. Via mobilecommercedaily.com
Walmart Earnings, Q1 2016
Walmart reported first-quarter profits and sales Thursday that were better than expected, unlike several department stores that have struggled to gain ground.
America’s largest retailer earned $0.98 in adjusted earnings per share, beating the forecast for $0.88, according to Bloomberg. Its revenues totaled $115.9 billion, beating expectations of $113.3 billion.
Walmart shares rose by as much as 7% in early trading, the biggest gain since October 2008 according to CNBC. They’ve gained 11% this year. Via businessinsider.com
Walmart tests drones to check warehouse inventory
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is testing drones for use in taking inventory at its warehouses. During a recent media tour of a distribution center, the Bentonville, Arkansas, retailer (NYSE: WMT) — Colorado’s largest private employer — said it is testing warehouse drones and could roll them out to other distribution centers over the next six to nine months.
The drones capture images — up to 30 pictures a second — in real time and mark missing items for inventory. The drones can check a full warehouse inventory in about a day, a process that can take a full month if done manually.
The move is another attempt to push the discount retailer’s advantage against online retailers such as Amazon.com Inc., who launched its own drone program, Prime Air, in recent years. Via bizjournals.com
Here’s How Walmart Can Benefit From Partnering With Uber and Lyft
Recently at its annual shareholders meeting, Walmart announced a new pilot program under which it will partner with services such as Uber and Lyft for last mile delivery of groceries ordered online by its customers. Groceries account for more than 50% of Walmart’s revenues and providing convenient delivery options to consumers in this segment can boost its revenues. Among Walmart, surely, are customers of Uber and Lyft, as well, which should build on the issues of trust. This innovative move by Walmart provides convenience to the consumers without the need for the company to create a delivery infrastructure around last mile deliveries. If the company is able to effectively leverage the network of services such as Uber and Lyft, it can lower its delivery costs without compromising on consumer convenience.
Walmart is working on several initiatives to compete with Amazon, which is looking at faster delivery options to woo consumers. Convenience in grocery purchases is one area where both companies are focused to attract more users. Walmart’s solution to partner with Uber and similar companies to provide last mile deliveries can prove to be extremely effective. According to 1010 data, nearly 13% of Walmart users in the U.S. also use Uber or Lyft and this number is higher at 18% in Denver and Phoenix where Walmart is piloting this partnership. This is an indication of the trust in these companies by Walmart consumers and this could be a major factor in the success of this program. Via forbes.com
Walmart Tests 2-Day Subscription Shipping
Subscribers will get more than a million items, including the most commonly purchased items on Walmart.com, delivered to their door in two days or fewer, Walmart spokesperson Bao Nguyen said.
“Customers will continue to enjoy their two favorite features — no minimum order requirements and free returns online and in stores,” he told the E-Commerce Times. The service, called “ShippingPass,” launched last year as a three-day shipping pilot program with a $50 annual subscription fee. Via ecommercetimes.com
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