>> Good news hard to come by in the retail world, so Walmart's positive outlook was so well-received, investors swept shares of the world's biggest retailer to a two-and-a-half-year high. Walmart on Tuesday highlighting early success in fighting off Amazon's ground-shifting assault on everything retail at an annual investor meeting.
Thanks to a number of online retail acquisitions, Walmart predicting a 40% surge in web sales for the fiscal year ending in January.>> I'm Conway Gittens in New York. Unlike other retailers that have rolled over and played dead in hopes of staying out of Amazon's sights, Walmart is fighting back.
First of all, it's offering free two-day shipping without being tethered to an annual membership like Amazon Prime. It is also doubling the number of locations that can deliver fresh groceries in light of Amazon's buy of Whole Foods. And the retail giant exploring new ways to use its more than 4,700 physical locations to make online deliveries and returns less of a hassle.
All of this innovation coming at a cost. Walmart announcing plans to invest $11 billion through the next two years, some of that money being redirected from Walmart's physical business. Only 15 new supercenters and less than ten smaller format stores are planned for fiscal year 2019. That's half of the store openings in fiscal year 2018 and way down from the 230 locations opened last year.
But Amazon is innovating too, which means Walmart's profits are going to get squeezed as it tries to compete. Walmart hoping a $20 billion stock buyback plan will convince investors to overlook that. The stock surging 4.5% by the closing bell.