By Sarah Nassauer
Walmart Inc. said its sales rose during the first quarter, adding to over four years of sales increases as the retail behemoth grabs market share from struggling competitors and grows online.
Sales at U.S. stores and websites operating at least 12 months grew 3.4% during the quarter ended April 26, boosted by online sales, including grocery, and a strong Easter buying season, the company said Thursday.
In the U.S., sales grew steadily throughout the quarter, the company said, even as retail sales data released earlier in the week showed a slight slowdown in spending in April. Meanwhile, Macy's reported slightly better-than-expected comparable sales, up 0.6%, earlier this week.
Walmart stocked more goods during the quarter than the same period last year. Inventories were up about 5.9% as the retailer accelerated buying in some categories and bulked up product quantities in its e-commerce fulfillment centers as it works to deliver online orders more quickly.
Walmart faces higher potential product prices after President Trump last week increased a tariff on about $200 billion of goods imported from China to 25% from 10% and threatened a further set of tariffs on all Chinese imports. Executives have previously said they are working to bring some goods into the country ahead of rising tariffs.
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