Walmart Sales Spike as Shoppers Spend Stimulus Checks

Walmart sales reportedly spiked during the company's last business quarter, as many shoppers spent their stimulus checks at the world's largest retailer. According to CNN, Walmart saw a lot of sales in its home goods, electronics and lawn care departments. This was in large part due to Walmart stores being deemed "essential" business during the most stringent quarantine lockdown of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

In the raw data, Walmart looked at sales from U.S. stores open what had been open for at least one year. The company determined that sales increased 9.3 percent to $93.3 billion from May through July. The sales numbers are compared with what the company earned during the same three months in 2019. In-store sales were not the only growth for Walmart, as online sales exploded as well, growing 97 percent. Overall, Walmart's profit increased 79.4 percent, to $6.4 billion.

Notably, another big portion of Walmart's sales were from their grocery and home-goods departments. "With significant operating restrictions for restaurants across the country, families continue to prepare more meals at home, and our business has benefited from that trend," Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said during a call with analysts. Furthermore, McMillon said that a "focus by customers on entertaining themselves at home and investing in their homes and yards" during the COVID-19 pandemic was also a big sales driver. CNN also noted that as July came to a close, Walmart's high sales numbers began to trend slightly downward. This coincided with the end of the additional $600 federal unemployment benefit provided by the CARES Act.

The news of Walmart's pandemic sales numbers comes after the company announced that it will close its stores on Thanksgiving this year. The company also revealed that it had plans to give bonuses to many of its employees who had been working hard through the pandemic. "Our associates have been working at an incredible pace, they’ve solved problems, and they’ve set an amazing example for others," said Walmart U.S. president and CEO John Furner. "To further appreciate their incredible work, we are pleased to share another special cash bonus this summer."

Around the same time, Walmart revealed that it would be requiring all customers to wear masks in its stores, to help limit the spread of coronavirus. To help bring consistency across stores and clubs, we will require all shoppers to wear a face covering starting Monday, July 20. This will give us time to inform customers and members of the changes, post signage and train associates on the new protocols."