Walmart Ad Sales Jump 33% To $3.4B, Consumer Spending Strong

Walmart’s $2.3 billion buyout of smart-TV maker Vizio may be stealing headlines, but the retailer’s new financial results offered plenty of other insights into its growth plans.

Topline results beat expectations, rising 5.7% in the fiscal fourth quarter to $173.4 billion, compared to $164 billion in the fourth quarter of 2022. In the U.S., comparable sales gained 4%. Global ecommerce sales leaped 23%, surpassing $100 billion for the full year.

And cash registers keep ringing in the company’s ad-sales empire, rising 33% for the quarter. That brings the company’s full-year ad-sales total to $3.4 billion, a 28% gain year-on-year. In the U.S. Walmart Connect business, ad sales gained 22%.

Walmart plans to use Vizio to strengthen the advertising products it offers. “Vizio gives us the opportunity to reach and serve customers in new ways and connect more dots for those that advertise with us,” says president and chief executive officer Doug McMillon in a conference call webcast for investors.



In its announcement of the deal, Walmart notes that advertising revenue from Vizio’s operating system “accounts for the majority of the company’s growth in the last five years.” 

The Vizio news sent Walmart’s stock higher and close to record levels, indicating how enthusiastic investors have become about the burgeoning retail-media business.

Amazon continues to dominate the market, reporting $14.6 billion in ad sales in its most recent quarterly results. But with the retail ad sales universe expected to reach $109.40 billion by 2027, there’s room for plenty of competitors. Walmart seems solid in the No. 2 spot, followed by Target’s Roundel.

Walmart also impressed observers with a better-than-expected bottom line: Adjusted operating income climbed 13.2% to $7.3 billion, compared to $6.4 billion in the prior-year period.

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based chain continued to gain market share in the grocery category, especially among more affluent households—the average number of transactions gained, with grocery, health and wellness showing the most strength. General merchandise purchases fell.

McMillon also detailed Walmart’s continued investment in physical stores, including more than 900 remodels worldwide and more than 150 new supercenters in the U.S. over the next five years.

Brick-and-mortar locations remain key to Walmart’s hybrid expansion, which increasingly includes membership. In addition to earning fees from members, who pay $98 for discounts and unlimited free shipping, members spend roughly twice as much as non-members per year.

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