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Walmart says holiday sales were slower than expected

As it continues to keep an eye on potential impact of the coronavirus, Walmart reported Tuesday that sales took a hit from other international challenges such as unrest in Chile, as well as a shortened holiday season.

The nation’s biggest retailer said sales at stores open a year rose 1.9% in the quarter that ended Jan. 31, buoyed by strong growth in Walmart’s grocery services, and net sales internationally increased 2.3%.

But sales in the U.S. were weaker than expected. And events overseas, including uncertainty about the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, also took a toll. Unrest in Chile affected the retailer’s international business, impacting operating income by roughly $110 million.   

“The holiday season delivered positive transaction growth,” Brett Biggs, Walmart’s Chief Financial Officer said in a statement. “However, it wasn’t as good as expected due to lower sales volumes and some pressure related to associate scheduling. We understand the factors that affected our results and are developing plans to address them.”

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