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Walmart eyes bigger piece of online sales pie

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CEO Doug McMillon tells investors e-commerce boost upcoming

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart expects that its U.S. online sales will grow 40% in its next fiscal year, which starts on Feb. 1.

Doug McMillon_Walmart 2017 analysts meeting

Doug McMillon

That forecast came ahead of the annual Walmart analysts meeting on Tuesday, during which the company announced plans to redesign its website, double its number of online grocery pickup locations (currently 1,000) by the end of next year, and slow the rollout of additional brick-and-mortar stores.

Walmart also plans to bring Jet.com’s smart-cart system, which allows consumers to save more if they have multiple purchases shipped together in the same box, opt out of free returns, or pay with a debit card.

Investors applauded the plans, which will position Walmart to more aggressively challenge Amazon.com in the e-commerce space. Shares of Walmart stock rose more than 4.5% in the immediate wake of the announcements.

Walmart president and chief executive officer Doug McMillon said he was confident in his company’s ability to win the fight for consumers in an increasingly omnichannel world where both price and convenience matter.

“We have good momentum in the business, we’re executing our strategy and moving with speed to win with the customer, who is more connected than ever and embracing tools that will save them both time and money,” McMillon said in a statement. “We’re combining the accessibility of our stores with e-commerce to provide new and exciting ways for customers to shop. I’m proud of the team we have in place, the work we have underway and how we are positioned for success in the future.”


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