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Walmart got a boost from shoppers spending their stimulus checks

The latest round of federal stimulus payments of up to $1,400 per person lifted sales at Walmart, the largest retailer in the United States, as shoppers used their checks to buy clothing, home goods and other merchandise at stores and online.

Walmart said Tuesday that sales at stores open for at least one year grew 6% in the United States during the three months ending April 30, compared with the same stretch last year. The figure included a 37% rise in online sales last quarter.

Walmart’s stock rose more than 3% in early trading Tuesday.

General merchandise sales, which include items other than groceries, were boosted by stimulus spending and “reflected customer trends toward recreation and home improvements including categories such as apparel, home, outdoor living and sporting goods,” Walmart said in an investor presentation.

Walmart also said beauty sales grew last quarter as people began to interact socially again.

Walmart’s total profit decreased 32% to $2.7 billion last quarter due to losses on the sale of its UK and Japan operations and changes to the value of its investment in Chinese e-commerce company

Home Depot and Macy’s also reported strong results Tuesday, reflecting the broader strength of US consumer spending. Retail sales are up 27% over the past three months compared with the same period a year ago. Home Depot said sales at stores open for at least one year grew 31% during its most recent quarter, while Macy’s sales at stores open at least one year grew 63.9% during the quarter.

Article Topic Follows: Money

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