American retail group Walmart has outlined an ambitious growth strategy during its 2023 Investment Community meeting, where it also unveiled its fiscal 2024 Q1 and full-year guidance results.
In the report, the company highlighted areas it was investing in in order to globally strengthen the business through its people, supply chain and across its retail network.
In a release, Doug McMillon, Walmart’s president and CEO, said: “We are in a unique position to serve our customers and members however they want to shop, which will fuel continued growth.
“As we grow, we will improve our operating margin through productivity advancements and our category and business mix, and drive returns through operating margin expansion and capital prioritisation.”
Automation and sales growth
A notable goal for the company was the plan to transform its financial profile, with a particular focus on sales growth from its omnichannel business model, diversifying its earnings streams through improved category mix and scaling high-return investments.
Walmart’s executive vice president and CFO, David Rainey, said that ultimately, the retailer was looking to achieve a four percent sales growth over the next five years, which would add over 130 billion dollars to its sales, on top of its current 600 billion dollar base.
During the meeting, the company also unveiled plans to develop a more connected, automated supply chain, an element that could already be viewed at its Florida-based distribution centre.
Its plans would also include extending these developments into its store network, with Walmart believing that roughly 65 percent of its stores will be serviced by automation by the end of FY26.
Q1 sales increase, positive guidance
The company further reiterated its FY24 Q1 results in the meeting, reporting that its consolidated net sales saw an increase from 4.5 to 5 percent, while its operating income rose to 4 percent.
Meanwhile, its guidance for the year sat at an increase from 2.5 to 3 percent, with its Walmart US sales expected to increase from 2 to 2.5 percent. For its international business, net sales are outlined to increase about 6 percent.
For consolidated operating expenses, Walmart said it expects a slight increase, while its operating income is forecast to rise 3 percent.