Walmart gears up for online battle

BENTONVILLE, Ark (AP) – Walmart is all about online, anticipating digital sales next year will rise about 40 per cent and that it will add 1,000 US online grocery locations.

The retail behemoth is predicting net sales growth at or above three per cent, driven by online sales and growth from existing stores.

Walmart kicked off its annual investor meeting yesterday in Bentonville, Arkansas. Walmart is armouring up online to take on Amazon.com and more traditional rivals, such as Target.

The company paid more than $3 billion for the online retailer Jet last year to speed its evolution. It’s also been acquiring smaller players like ModCloth, Moosejaw and Bonobos.

The emphasis seemed to recede for brick-and-mortar stores, with Walmart expecting to open less than 15 SuperCenters in the US next year.

Customers walk out of a Walmart store in Hialeah Gardens, Fla. – AP