Economic review

Wal-Mart reports record results in China 2017 as e-commerce surges

2018-03-08 15:22:00 (Beijing Time)         Global Times

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Major global retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Carrefour have reported better sales performances in China, partly reflecting closer cooperation with local e-commerce platforms.

Wal-Mart announced its best sales performance in the Chinese market in 2017 at an annual preparation meeting in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province on Wednesday, with increasing sales volume in both its physical hypermarkets and Sam's Club, a membership-only retailer providing high-end products. It also reported a surge in e-commerce sales.

According to the company's fiscal 2017 (February 2016-January 2017) results released on February 21, the global revenue was $496.9 billion, up 3.1 percent year-on-year. Its sales volume in China in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year 2017 (November 2016-January 2017) increased by 5.4 percent.

"The company's strategy of working with JD.com Inc (JD) is wise, since the move has not only helped it open an online store but also enabled it to find a seat in the fresh food delivery market, the last frontier of China's e-commerce," Lin Zhuang, an expert with Shanghai Lingan Management Consultancy Co, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Wal-Mart said that it had "explosive growth" in its e-commerce branch in China last year after reaching a deal with JD, one of the nation's major e-commerce platforms.

It was the top seller among all stores on the cross-border site of JD in August.

"We will highlight our advantages in fresh food delivery and imported products during the next year, and we are aiming to become the best multi-channel retailer in China," Chen Wen yuan, CEO of Walmart China, said at the meeting.

France-based Carrefour recently reported better results in 2017 in Asia. Its operating income in the region was 4 million euros ($4.87 million), compared with an operating loss of 58 million euros in 2016.

Carrefour said that the better performance was in part due to the company's action plans implemented in China, the world's second-largest economy and a market with rapidly changing consumption habits. It started to work with Chinese online-to-offline platforms like Meituan and Baidu to send deliveries from 2017.