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March 23, 2022

Walmart fire to cause “only minimal delays” to online

US retail giant Walmart has told Just Style the fire at its distribution centre in Plainfield, Illinois, should not cause product delays to its stores and only "minimal delays" with online customers.

By Beth Wright

The fire broke out at the Walmart distribution centre on 16 March, with 1,000 employees inside at the time and smoke plumes showing on weather radars, according to a report published by WRTV. Indeed, a report by Bloomberg claimed a plume of smoke was so vast it could be seen from space. 

The distribution centre is understood to have stocked goods including clothing, food and electronics, according to the Indianapolis Star.

Charles Crowson, director of corporate communications at Walmart, told Just Style since the fulfillment centres service online orders only, the company does not anticipate product delays to stores and only “minimal delays” with online customers.

He added: We’ve already taken steps to limit the impact to customers by relying on the resiliency of our supply chain facilities and stores across the country to help shoulder the load as we work to normalise operations.”

Reporting its fourth-quarter results last month, Walmart said total revenue for the three months ended 31 January amounted to US$152.9bn, up 0.5% on last year. Consolidated net income was $3.56bn, compared to a consolidated net loss of $2.09bn in the prior-year quarter.

For the full year, total revenue was $572.8bn, up 2.4% on the prior year, and negatively affected by $32.7bn related to divestitures. Consolidated net income attributable to Walmart for the year amounted to $13.67bn, compared to $3.51bn a year earlier.

For fiscal year 2023, Walmart expects consolidated net sales to increase about 3% in constant currency, and consolidated operating income to rise by about 3% in constant currency.

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