As I write to you, I’m reminded of the enormous challenges we’ve faced as a people over the last two years and I’m thinking about those we see coming. Around the world, we’re still working through the various pandemic related issues as well as the economic and employment environments in each country where we operate. Despite the challenges of the moment and those that lie ahead, the emotions I feel are those of gratitude and optimism. I’m grateful for our associates and grateful for the customers and members that trust us enough to shop with us so frequently. I’m grateful to our suppliers, our marketplace sellers, and those that partner with us to serve customers and members better and engage in our collective work to become a regenerative company. I’m optimistic about our future because of the momentum we’ve built and the desire and ability of our team to change, while embracing our timeless purpose and values. Together, we’ve built a strategy and we’re executing it. Our mindset and our way of working are changing. We’ve gotten faster and more creative. We’ve started new businesses, and some are starting to scale. I’m confident that regardless of the hurdles that rise up in front of us our associates, and our leadership team, will step up and serve. They’ll serve our customers and members; they’ll partner with each other, and they’ll serve the communities where they live. They’ll help people save money and live a better life. And, as they do, they are building a new business model that is more resilient and more impactful for all of our stakeholders.
President and Chief Executive Officer
generated in operating cash flow
returned to shareholders
dividend for the
in February 2022
Over time, designing a business that benefits all stakeholders is the best way to provide returns to shareholders. We’ve been working to demonstrate that for years now by investing in our associates through wages and educational opportunities, investing to serve customers in new, digital ways, supporting communities and doing things like reducing the amount of waste we generate and working to become supplied by more renewable energy. We’re striving to become a regenerative company. While making choices to support all of our stakeholders, we have also performed financially. Last year, we generated more than $24 billion in operating cash flow, returned nearly $16 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases, and recently announced an increase in the dividend for the 49th consecutive year.
Our business is growing, and it’s transforming. Over the last two years, we’ve grown revenue about 17 percent and profit 31 percent in retained markets, and we’ve more than doubled our percentage of digital sales. This growth is aided by the work we’re doing to create a business model that works like a flywheel. A set of mutually reinforcing assets designed to keep Walmart top-of-mind with customers and deepen our relationship with them.
Let’s see how it works …
You can see we’re building an ecosystem that’s uniquely Walmart. Its foundations were established decades ago with the Walmart productivity loop. Today, we’re reinventing the productivity loop to leverage what today’s technology enables.
This model is relevant to our businesses globally. From traditional retail to membership models to marketplaces to financial services and healthcare, each of these can benefit from interconnected assets that make it seamless for customers to interact with us. Let’s take a deeper look at how this is working.
Our business segments
Last year, Walmart U.S. grew comp sales, excluding fuel, 6.4 percent, or 15 percent on a two-year stack. Pickup and delivery continued to grow, customers visited our stores more often, we added new members to Walmart+, and we expanded the InHome delivery option to reach 30 million potential customers. Running great stores remains important. Today our store associates are not only responsible for creating a great in-store environment, but they’re also driving pickup and delivery services. Our Supercenters and Neighborhood Markets differentiate us with customers and Walmart+ members. Our associates are focused on helping us win primary destination whether that shopping occasion starts with a store or on our app.
As customers think about Walmart first – as being the best place to shop – we can serve them more broadly and reach them in new ways. Part of serving customers more broadly is having an assortment that reaches everyone. From day-to-day needs and wants to that hard-to-find specialty item. Doing this means offering more items that we own, plus more that are available through our marketplace. Last year we expanded both, including adding more than 20,000 new sellers to the marketplace with plans to add thousands more this year and grow our SKU count well beyond the nearly 170 million items we have today. This opens up the opportunity to add new services like fulfillment for sellers of all sizes. GMV delivered through Walmart Fulfillment Services grew 500 percent last year, and we expect this strong growth to continue.
As you saw on the video for the flywheel, customers and members trust Walmart today in important areas outside of food, or general merchandise. They also trust us with their health and their money. We have a long history of serving them through our pharmacies and optical businesses, with everyday items they buy over the counter, and with money services that make their lives easier. We’ll leverage this trust to expand services in these areas. We are focused on quality, accessibility, and affordability. We started a joint venture last year with Ribbit Capital, and we believe it has the potential to change the financial well-being for millions of families here in the U.S. I’m excited about the work we’re doing in these areas, and we’ll push even harder this year to make our vision a reality for more people.
As more customers and members join our ecosystem, it gives us an opportunity to monetize the capabilities and assets we’ve developed to diversify our revenue and profit base. Sometimes that means new businesses like Walmart GoLocal, our delivery as a service platform, or Walmart Luminate, a suite of insight and analytic tools for suppliers and sellers. Other times it can be the expansion of existing businesses like advertising, where we’ve seen tremendous growth over the last few years. It’s now a $2.1 billion business for us globally. We’re attaching B2B businesses to our B2C businesses in a way that supports investments and profitability.
We are focused
Our Sam’s Club business in the U.S. delivered very strong results last year, excluding fuel and tobacco, with comp sales growth of 11.9 percent, and membership income growth of 11.3 percent. The unlock for the flywheel at Sam’s starts at the top by building a member-obsessed culture. As we get that first part right, we’re designing and curating quality items and services our members love. We see this across categories, where we take direct feedback from members and develop items they’re asking for. Over the last year, we’ve rolled out new Members Mark private brand items in nutrition and in general merchandise. And because Sam’s Club offers great items at disruptive prices, we’re able to continue to grow our base of members – the cornerstone of the club model.
This new way of approaching the business is a natural evolution of the Sam’s Club strategy. The momentum thoroughly captures what the business is about. It reflects what Sam’s Club is doing already and shows the power and potential of starting with a member-obsessed approach.
Walmart International had a great year in our retained markets. Sales grew 9.4 percent, and profits were up 11.8 percent in constant currency. Our businesses around the world are much more alike than they are different. From rural India to Mexico City to Texas, customers are fundamentally looking for the same things. They want easy and affordable access to the products and services they want and need. I mentioned saving people money so they can live better, and that’s true everywhere we operate. We make that real.
Our strategy is clear. It’s to build strong local businesses that share common flywheel characteristics, powered by Walmart with ideas, resources, talent and technology. Each market is positioned to deliver long-term, sustainable growth. Our teams in each market know their customers well, and they partner on common areas to drive progress even faster. We’re expanding the ecosystem that supports them as we grow capabilities in areas like advertising, payments and other financial services, and healthcare.
We also know we must focus where it matters most. This guides our investment decisions and where to play philosophy. A little more than three years ago we made a big investment in India by taking a majority stake in Flipkart and PhonePe, an eCommerce platform and payments business. Since then, we’ve seen incredible growth and lots of innovation from these teams. We’ve seen them expand their businesses to important areas like healthcare and financial services. We’ve also seen how they strive to help our kirana partners grow and to help solve problems for local farmers and communities. We have high expectations for these businesses, and the teams are consistently meeting or exceeding these.
Like the flywheels from the U.S., we’re building distinctive products and services to create new revenue and profit pools designed to be mutually-reinforcing. Our business in Mexico is a great example of how we’re balancing all of this. Walmex is our business that covers Mexico and Central America, and it’s thriving. They’re bringing customers into their funnel by focusing on price, fresh, and private brands, while automating the experience for customers to save them time and money. They’re also accelerating their omnichannel transition. Winning in on-demand through delivery from stores, including Walmart Pass, a subscription-based service for the delivery of a wide range of items. Deepening relationships with customers and members is important here, too, and we’re doing it in general merchandise categories by expanding our owned inventory and the marketplace. We’re also developing a robust payments business that’s growing nicely.
I’m so proud of what we’re accomplishing across all of Walmart. A team of 2.3 million associates across 24 countries working together to solve problems for customers and members and deliver long-term value for our stakeholders. We live our purpose. It’s why we do what we do. Thank you for the role you play and thank you for your interest in our company.
President and Chief Executive Officer