October 11, 2016
The largest retailer in the world is making a bigger bet on e-commerce. Walmart, which recently closed its acquisition of Jet.com, late last week told investors it will slow the pace of brick-and-mortar store openings and invest instead in new warehouses to fulfill e-commerce orders, according to a Reuters report. At its annual investor day at the retail giant’s Bentonville, Ark. headquarters, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon told attendees that “this company over time will look like an e-commerce company.”
To that end, McMillon said Walmart will double the number of its large warehouses facilitating the fulfillment of e-commerce orders from five to ten by the end of 2016. According to Reuters, industry experts had predicted the company would build eight such warehouses and they wouldn’t do it until the end of 2017. At its current level, McMillon said it has the ability to ship to “most of the U.S.” in one day.
As a result of its spending on e-commerce, McMillon warned investors that earnings for next year would be flat, down from a previous forecast of profit growth.