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The Latest in E-Commerce From Around the Globe

Reading Time: 3 mins
By Published On: February 20, 20190 Comments

Walmart’s online sales surge 43 percent, Etsy accidentally withdraws money from sellers’ accounts, Modcloth’s expansion plans and Amazon Go hits London-town.

Big players like Amazon, Walmart and Etsy have all made headlines overnight. Here’s our rundown of the best news to come out of the global playing field.

Walmart Reports 43 Percent Surge in Online Sales

According to the US department store’s latest update, the business grew comparable sales by 4.2 percent in Q4, with e-commerce sales surging by 43 percent. In a statement, Walmart attributed the boost in online sales to the expansion of its grocery pick-up and delivery services and the larger range that’s now available from Walmart.com.

Total revenue for the quarter hit $138.8 billion, which is $2.5 billion greater than the same time last year. Comparable sales came in as a two-year stack of 6.8 percent – the strongest growth the business has achieved in nine years.

Looking at the fiscal highlights of 2019, Walmart’s total revenue was $514.4 billion, which represents a jump in revenue of 2.8 percent. In terms of e-commerce, sales increased by 40 percent and the company’s Net-Promoter Score and Customer Value Index reportedly improved. In its FY20 guidance, Walmart has predicted that e-commerce sales will grow at a steady 35 percent.

Etsy Sellers Outrage Over Unauthorised Financial Withdrawals

Last week, a payment era resulted in a number of Etsy sellers having money taken from the accounts connected with their Etsy stores without their consent. This led to a number of complaints on the company’s community forum over the weekend, with retailers alleging misconduct. Sellers complained of withdrawals ranging from a few hundred to tens of thousands of thousands of dollars.

After a user posted saying $395 had been taken from her account, others jumped on saying their bank cards had been cancelled due to suspicious activity. “My bank just cancelled my card because Etsy tried to take over $5,000 this morning…” community member, lovestrucksoul wrote.

In response to the onslaught of complaints, an Etsy moderator said a payment error had affected a small group of sellers.

“On Friday, February 15, a bill payment error affected a small group of sellers which resulted in cards being incorrectly charged,” the comment said. “Sellers who were affected have been notified by email, or by Etsy Conversations, and the issue that has caused this has since been resolved.”

Etsy also said that sellers would be refunded the incorrect charges and that a payments task force had been assembled to investigate the glitch and address any outstanding issues.

Amazon Go Opens First International Store in London

According to a post first appearing on The Grocer, Amazon is expanding its cashierless grocery store concept outside of the US, with its first store planned in central London.

While no details surrounding the expected arrival of Amazon Go in London have been released, Reuters believes the global business’s stores will compete with the UK’s Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Sainsbury’s. Meanwhile, The Telegraph claims the first Amazon Go store will open in London’s West End shopping district, most likely in Oxford Circus.

Amazon Go currently operates ten stores in the US, with the Jeff Bezos-owned company considering opening an additional 3,000 stores by 2021.

Modcloth Crosses Omnichannel Divide, Opens First Physical Store

The Los Angeles-based, Walmart-owned store is reportedly opening its first permanent physical retail store in New York City, with plans in place to open 19 bricks-and-mortar stores by the end of 2019.

Modcloth’s launch of its physical retail offering also coincides with the start of the business’s wholesale partnership with Nordstrom, with Modcloth products launching on Nordstrom.com on February 9 and in 20 locations across the US by the end of the week.

The company has said it’s also in the process of improving its international e-commerce offering by expanding its capabilities for accepting payments in local currencies and overcoming customs-related frictions that have caused problems for the brand in the past.

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