Retailers’ online grocery sales soar as Walmart cuts jobs

Published on
August 3, 2020

Walmart is cutting corporate jobs to streamline online and physical store sales, according to recent reports. 

Walmart has laid off “hundreds” of employees, including in-store planning, logistics, merchandising, and real estate, Bloomberg reported.

“We are continuing on our journey to create an omnichannel organization within our Walmart U.S. business and we’re making some additional changes this week,” Walmart said in a statement to Bloomberg late last week.

Walmart’s e-commerce sales surged 74 percent in the first quarter of this year.

The job cuts are similar to corporate job cuts the retailer made more than two years ago, when it slashed between 400 and 500 corporate jobs to streamline operations and focus more on its omnichannel strategy.

Earlier this year, Walmart merged buyers for its physical stores and online business to alleviate pricing conflicts between stores and its website.

Amazon and Albertsons’ e-commerce sales are also booming, according to their most recent financial reports due to the COVID-19 pandemic its subsequent effects on U.S. consumers. Amazon’s grocery e-commerce sales tripled in the second quarter of this year and it hit USD 7.2 billion (EUR 6.1 billion) in grocery sales in June. In the past six months, Amazon has tripled its grocery overall delivery capacity and its total number of grocery pickup locations, Amazon said in a press release.

Amazon could further boost its grocery sales as it continues working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to expand access to online grocery shopping for Americans who rely on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

“Amazon now reaches beneficiaries in 39 states and the District of Columbia, providing more than 90 percent of SNAP households with the ability to use their SNAP benefits online,” the retailer said.

Similarly, Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons also reported a 276 percent hike in e-commerce sales in its most recent quarter – and its first as a public company.

Grocery delivery services are now available at more than 90 percent of Albertsons’ 2,252 stores and its curbside pickup service will soon reach 1,600 stores, Progressive Grocer reported. The grocery conglomerate’s overall sales and other revenues climbed 21.4 percent to USD 22.8 billion (EUR 19 billion) for the quarter.

Seafood is one of the biggest benefactors of retailers’ sales surge during the pandemic. Frozen seafood sales spiked 53 percent for the week of 26 July, while fresh seafood sales grew 34.2 percent, according to IRI and 210 Analytics.

Photo courtesy of Chris Dorney/Shutterstock

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