BENTONVILLE, ARK. – Of all the consumer changes and habits over the past 12 months, online grocery retailing is one trend that is likely to continue, said M. Brett Biggs, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Walmart, Inc.
In a presentation on June 15 at the Evercore virtual ISI Consumer and Retail Summit, Mr. Biggs explained to attendees the impact of accelerating e-commerce during the pandemic. While many consumers had started shifting their spending to the e-commerce channel before the pandemic, over the past year they have become even more comfortable shopping online, he said.
“I think people have come to love this online grocery service,” said Biggs. “And we are in exactly the right place to serve this customer.
“So the good thing, or the reason I feel so positive, is again, whatever sticks out of the pandemic from the customer’s point of view, there is no place we don’t have – not just no answer, we thrive and that’s why I am.” so confident. “
The gap between Walmart and some of its online competitors like Amazon may narrow on the ecommerce side, but Mr Biggs said Walmart remains confident it can differentiate itself.
“Look, there’s nothing a competitor can’t do over time; they can, ”he said. “So I’m not sure if they are where we have advantages – that’s for sure. I think the customer interactions, the personal interactions with customers, I think the culture of the company and how we can interact with customers in person is really different.
“The online grocery store helps with this. The grocery shipping helps with this. And grocery stores are something that people interact with every day, right, you see it every day. We have an advantage here and we want to build on that advantage, but it’s a big advantage for us. Look, we have great competitors in the food space. And they are getting more and more aggressive. I have no doubt. But I think we will too. “