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Wal-Mart Online-Sales to be Boosted by its Tech Investments, says the Company

Wal-Mart Online-Sales to be Boosted by its Tech Investments, says the Company
Wal-Mart Stores Inc executives flaunted the potential for boosting online sale that the company stands to gain from the technology investments in the world's No. 1 retailer is making, said the executives during the annual shareholder meeting very recently.
The US retailer's two-day shipping program, its mobile wallet, Wal-Mart Pay and the online grocery pick up were the initiatives that were widely spoken about by the company Chief Executive Officer, Doug McMillon. The company announced a partnership with Uber to deliver online groceries and displayed the use of drones in warehouses at the week-long media event and McMillon’s comments simply capped off the event.
"We get to reimagine retail again, and that's what we are going to do," McMillon said. However it would take some time for the company to register and reap the benefits from the changes that it has brought in to boost e-commerce sales.
Even though Wal-Mart’s overall performance has been better than most competitors, its online sales growth has sharply decelerated for five quarters.
Down from 8 percent, 10 percent, 16 percent and 17 percent in the previous periods, online sales growth was just 7 percent for Wal-Mart during the first quarter. Noting a rise in online sale that was less than the jump of more than the 16 percent for market leader Inc., Wal-Mart's online sales rose just 12.3 percent to reach $13.7 billion in 2015.
Packed with 14,000 people, including workers from around the world and shareholders, this meeting of the com-any was held at the Bud Walton Arena in Fayetville, 30 miles from the company's headquarters in Bentonville. The meeting was hosted by talk show host James Cordon in keeping with its practice of showcasing celebrities at the annual event. There were stage performances by singers like Katy Perry, Andy Grammar and Nick Jonas.
After two shareholder proposals demanded higher wages, better treatment of employees and an independent chairman at the event, the enthusiastic atmosphere momentarily turned somber. The proposals did not get adequate votes.
In a measure that was announced in 2015 by the company and is slated to be implemented this year, Wal-Mart had announce the lifting of its base pay to $10 an hour in 2016.
Delivering a petition demanding higher wages signed by several thousand Wal-Mart workers, union backed group OUR Wal-Mart kept up pressure and its workers met McMillon earlier this week.
Asking shareholders to focus on struggling workers, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union published a full-page advertisement in a national newspaper on Friday.
Base wages of $15 an hour have been demanded from retailers including Wal-Mart. With the Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders calling for a $15 “living wage”, the $15 minimum wage, also called "Fight for Fifteen" movement, has been a hot issue in cities across the country as well as in the U.S. presidential campaign.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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