Grocery, e-commerce lift Walmart's Canada sales

Sales in Walmart's (NYSE:WMT) Canadian stores were up 4.1 percent in the fourth quarter due in large part to e-commerce and the store's grocery department.

This is the third consecutive positive quarter for sales in Canada, as same store sales grew 1.8 percent and foot traffic increased modestly by 0.1 percent, reported the Canadian Grocer. The increased investment in grocery and e-commerce seems to be paying off.

Walmart's online Canadian sales were up 38.5 percent in the fourth quarter. According to BMO analyst Peter Sklar, the company brings in about $300 million in e-commerce revenue per year.

While things are looking good for Walmart on the Canadian front, other retailers have not fared as well. Target (NYSE:TGT) recently announced plans to shutter all Canadian stores, and Sears (NYSE:SHLD) said last year that it would lower the number of stores in Canada after failing to find a buyer.

In a conference call, Walmart's international president and CEO, David Cheesewright, said positive sales could also be attributed to fresh food, such as the "grab n' go" service, which was launched last year.

The company will spend $75 million in 2015 on distribution, which includes a new warehouse for fresh foods and its first two warehouses dedicated to e-commerce.

Just last week, Walmart announced it would invest $340 million to expand in Canada in 2015 and complete 29 supercenters, which includes adding grocery departments to several existing stores.

For more:
-See this Canadian Grocer article

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