Walmart is looking the strongest in years in its fight against Amazon

Where Amazon can’t compete.
Where Amazon can’t compete.
Image: Reuters/Rick Wilking
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If Walmart is getting squeezed by Amazon, you wouldn’t know it.

The retailer reported today that sales at US stores open at least a year rose 4.5% in its most recent quarter, the highest growth in a decade. Despite the threat of people staying home and ordering their stuff online—probably from Amazon—Walmart says it recorded more shoppers going to its stores, and spending more per trip, than in previous quarters.

Walmart’s grocery business was particularly strong (pdf), as the company worked to make buying fresh food easy for a larger number of customers. CEO Doug McMillon said the company now has more than 1,800 locations that offer grocery pickup, and is working to expand its grocery delivery service to cover 40% of the US population by the end of the year.

Stores weren’t the only bright spot. Walmart’s US e-commerce sales jumped by 40% in the three months to July. The company has been working to add more partner brands to the list of those it sells online, giving shoppers an increasingly large selection to choose from. It has added 1,100 brands so far this year, including Zwilling J. A. Henckels cutlery and cookware, O’Neill surf apparel, Shimano cycling products, and a host of fashion and footwear brands now available on its dedicated Lord & Taylor shop.

Along with groceries, Walmart stressed that clothing was another area showing strong momentum. The company has been making a play to bulk up those sales, keeping pace with Amazon’s growing fashion ambitions. In the past year or so, Walmart has bought up brands such as ModCloth and Bonobos, and launched several of its own private-label offerings.

The battle between Walmart and Amazon is far from over, and Walmart is showing that it’s got plenty of fight left in it.