Seth Cohen, Forbes.com
On Tuesday, Walmart reported its first quarter financial numbers, beating analyst expectations and demonstrating that it is successfully navigating the coronavirus pandemic. But the financial numbers aren’t the real story behind Walmart’s success, it’s the strategy by which it got them that provides lessons for leaders looking to navigate these uncertain times.
Retailers such as Walmart and Target have been big winners during the pandemic as customers have stocked up on home supplies and other products heavily used during the stay-at-home spring. Alongside Amazon and other home-delivery services that have rapidly responded to changing customer shopping habits, both Walmart and Target have maintained their strong market position, especially for shoppers who have continued to shop in person over the past several months. In its most recent earning report, Walmart reported that same store sales were up 10% for the quarter due to increased sales of food and other consumables, as well as health and wellness products.
While the data from the most recent earnings report is eye-popping, the seeds for Walmart’s current success were actually planted far before the coronavirus started spreading around the planet.