The world's largest retailer said Thursday that same-store sales at its U.S. stores rose 1.4% in the first quarter, spurred by a 1.5% increase in customer traffic. Getting people to visit physical stores is challenging for retailers right now as they are buying more of their stuff online. But, Walmart's year plus effort to slash prices in food -- which obviously needs to get bought weekly -- has it in a rare position of seeing people head to stores for food and other merchandise. Traffic to Walmart's stores has increased for 10 straight quarters.
Sales of food at U.S. stores increased by a low-single digit percentage in the first quarter, Walmart said, also helped by initiatives to keep items in-stock.
Conceding that it continues to have a "perception" problem, where consumers don't see it as the lowest priced in food and other household essentials, Target notched another challenging quarter of sales. Target's first quarter same-store sales fell 1.3% as both traffic and the average amount spent by shoppers each fell. Sales of groceries declined as Target only began late in the quarter to market its new lower priced food and other weekly needs.
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Editor's Pick: Originally published May 18.