Walmart Inc. WMT is leaving no stone unturned and no area unexplored to enhance its business. The company is, in fact, utilizing all opportunities to drive business amid the pandemic. To this end, the world’s largest retailer said that it is teaming up with Tribeca Enterprises to offer a drive-in movie experience to customers who are missing the theatres amid the social distancing restrictions.
Walmart is converting 160 store parking lots into contact-less drive-in movie halls, wherein customers can get together safely and see movies programmed by the Tribeca Drive-in group. Walmart will extend the red-carpet experience across towns in the country for a total of 320 shows starting August. These will include blockbuster movies along with special appearances by celebrities and filmmakers. The drive-in experience will be extended to October.
Further, Walmart will make it easy for families to load their picnic baskets ahead of every screening, as they can order online and use curbside pickup on their way to the movie. Additionally, the company is collaborating with Tribeca Drive-in to serve as the presenting partner for the Tribeca Drive-In movie series, starting Jul 2. Tribeca’s drive-ins have long been its signature program, since they began the Tribeca Film Festival around 19 years back.
Walmart’s partnership with Tribeca is likely to provide a safe movie experience to families who have been looking for sources of entertainment and recreation amid the pandemic-led situation.
Apart from this, Walmart announced plans to introduce an online summer camp for kids — Camp by Walmart. Families can gain access to 50 Camp by Walmart activities on the Walmart app for free from Jul 8, which will include sessions led by celebrities and experts like Drew Barrymore, Idina Menzel, Neil Patrick Harris, Todd Oldham and LeBron James.
Walmart Keeps it Going Amid the Pandemic
Certainly, the company is exploring every nook and cranny to keep its business going and doing better amid the crisis. As part of this, the world’s largest retailer has undertaken several measures to support its employees and customers. To support customers, Walmart lowered store hours to ensure proper sanitization, enhanced delivery and pickup services, launched pickup in China, expanded online grocery capacity in the U.K. and introduced contact-less delivery in Canada, to name a few.
Also, Walmart unveiled Express Delivery during the first quarter of fiscal 2021 at several stores, which will help it deliver orders to customers in less than two hours. Additionally, Walmart’s Sam’s Club division recently launched a curbside pickup service, which offers contact-less order online and deliver to car service. Further, the company expanded its ship from store option temporarily to about 2,500 stores and extended curbside pharmacy pickup as well as mail-to-home options in the United States. Apart from this, the company announced a partnership between Uber and Flipkart for the delivery of daily essentials.
The company’s concerted efforts to enhance store and online operations also helped it cater well to customers’ burgeoning demand for essentials in the first-quarter fiscal 2021, wherein both top and bottom lines improved year over year and beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Results gained from increased demand owing to the coronavirus-led stock hoarding. Further, higher stay-at-home trends boosted e-commerce sales, though gross margin remained under pressure due to increased mix of lower-margin items and price investments. Also, high costs associated with COVID-19 are a concern.
Nevertheless, we expect this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company’s robust growth endeavors (like the latest abovementioned ones) to continue driving the business. Markedly, shares of Walmart have gained 6.5% in a year compared with the industry’s growth of 8.5%.
Some Solid Retail Stocks
Kroger KR sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and has a long-term earnings growth rate of 5.5%.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Big Lots BIG, which carries a Zacks Rank #1, has a long-term earnings growth rate of 7.1%.
Dollar General DG, also with a Zacks Rank #1, has a long-term earnings growth rate of 12.4%.
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