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Walmart's online sales grow 33%

Walmart's stock ticked up 1% before the opening bell.

Posted: May 17, 2018 7:32 AM

(CNN Money) -- Walmart's online sales are growing and Americans are still flooding into its stores.

Digital sales jumped 33% last quarter, Walmart said Thursday. Investors were glued to that number because CEO Doug McMillon is reshaping the world's largest retailer to attract younger and wealthier shoppers online — rival Amazon's base.

"We are changing from within to be faster and more digital," McMillon said in a statement.

Last quarter, Walmart's online growth slowed to 23% after 50% and 60% gains the previous two quarters. The drop sparked a selloff on Wall Street, sending Walmart's stock to its worst day in 30 years.

Related: Walmart figured out its Amazon strategy. So why's the stock down 13%?

Sales at Walmart's 4,760 US stores that have been open for at least a year rose 2.1% and foot traffic was up 0.8%. Both measures signal that shoppers continue to head to Walmart's stores, which the company says are within 10 miles of 90% of Americans.

Walmart's expansion of home grocery delivery and online curbside pickup contributed to same-store sales gains, the company said. Walmart has raced to offer online grocery in 1,400 locations. McMillon has said that customers shopping both in stores and online spend nearly twice as much as customers buying only in stores.

Walmart's profit was down 1.6% from a year ago. It has been lowering prices to stay ahead of competitors. Higher oil and freight costs also weighed on the company's bottom line.

Wall Street believed it was a solid report: Walmart's stock ticked up 1% before the opening bell.

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