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Walmart (WMT) Readies for Holiday Season: Everything to Note

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Undertaking additional hiring, offering attractive deals, tightening omnichannel strings and strengthening product assortments are some common moves undertaken by retailers to make the most of the significant holiday season. Staying on these lines, Walmart Inc. (WMT - Free Report) has unveiled plans to employ about 40,000 workers, including both seasonal and full-time. The company will also offer additional hours to its existing workers.

Among the other holiday season initiatives, the supermarket giant is undertaking price investments to deliver greater savings, offering three new returns options; providing a wider product range with more top gifts and enriching customers’ omnichannel shopping experience. Clearly, the Bentonville-based retailer is prepping hard for the holiday season.

On that note, let’s delve deeper into Walmart’s holiday season announcements.

Price Investments & Better Return Options

Walmart is making solid price investments across key categories to offer great value to its customers. It is also offering more rollbacks to boost savings on gifts like toys, electronics, beauty and home, to name a few. The company is also making efforts to ease the returns process, as part of which it announced that Walmart+ members can avail of new return options, including Holiday Guarantee, Curbside Returns and Return Pickup from Home , starting October.

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Enhanced Assortments & Shopping Experience

The omnichannel retailer has enriched its holiday gift assortment with increased options this season and has included new brands and additional Walmart-exclusives. The company has invested in the core gifting categories and strengthened its inventory for popular electronics like TVs, tablets, watches, wireless headphones, wireless phones, along with home goods like furniture, decor, appliances and robotic vacuums.

Walmart is also coming up with Spark Good, which is a new way of community service, just in time for the holiday season. The company is also focused on making customers’ omnichannel shopping more convenient through better site experience, personalized shopping (through virtual try-on and "View In Your Home," options), fast and easy pickup and delivery services, refreshed holiday wish lists, and a registry suite.

Wrapping Up

Walmart has been going out of its way to ensure a seamless shopping experience for its customers. The enthusiasm is all the more when it comes to the crucial holiday season – which is the most important time of the year for most retailers.  Per Mastercard SpendingPulse, U.S. retail sales, excluding automotive, are anticipated to increase 7.1% from a year earlier during the traditional holiday period from Nov 1-Dec 24. While in-store retail sales are projected to increase 7.9%, e-commerce is expected to rise 4.2%.  

Thus, Walmart’s abovementioned initiatives, along with efforts to facilitate an efficient supply chain, are likely to play out well for the Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company this holiday season.

Shares of Walmart have risen 9% in the past three months compared with the industry’s growth of 7%.

Retail Stocks to Grab

We have highlighted three better-ranked stocks,  Ulta Beauty (ULTA - Free Report) , Kroger (KR - Free Report) and DICK'S Sporting Goods, Inc. (DKS - Free Report) .

Ulta Beauty, which operates as a retailer of beauty products, sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Ulta Beauty has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 32.8%, on average. ULTA has an expected EPS growth rate of 11.9% for three to five years. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Ulta Beauty’s current financial-year sales suggests growth of 13.7% from the year-ago reported number.

Kroger,  a renowned grocery retailer, currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). KR has an expected EPS growth rate of 11.7% for three to five years.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Kroger’s current financial-year revenues and EPS suggests growth of 7.8% and 9.8%, respectively, from the year-ago reported figure. KR has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 15.7%, on average.

DICK'S Sporting, which operates as a sporting goods retailer, carries a Zacks Rank #2. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of nearly 21.4%, on average.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for DICK'S Sporting’s current financial-year earnings per share has risen from $10.83 to $11.42 in the past 30 days. DKS has an expected EPS growth rate of 5% for three to five years.

In-Depth Zacks Research for the Tickers Above

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Walmart Inc. (WMT) - free report >>

The Kroger Co. (KR) - free report >>

DICK'S Sporting Goods, Inc. (DKS) - free report >>

Ulta Beauty Inc. (ULTA) - free report >>

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