Walmart becomes a pandemic lifeline, online sales surge 74%



NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart emerged as one of the few lifelines to millions of people as the coronavirus spread, leading to surging profit and sales for the world’s largest retailer. Online sales jumped 74% for the Arkansas-based retail giant’s fiscal first quarter that ended April 30. The sales were fueled by a rush on canned foods, paper towels and other supplies as people sheltered in place. The company said Tuesday that same-store sales at its U.S. namesake stores surged, but so did costs. Walmart spent $900 million in additional compensation for workers who staffed checkout lines and kept goods flowing at warehouses. The company pulled its guidance for the year, citing the chaos of the pandemic.