When investors think of a multinational e-commerce company, Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) is the name that generally first comes to mind. The company, which initially opened as an online bookstore, has been at the forefront of online commerce for the better part of two decades. However, traditional brick-and-mortar discount retailer Walmart Inc. (WMT) has been keeping pace online as well—maybe as Amazon's biggest threat. The retailer turned heads when it reported that its online sales rose by 40% in the second quarter of 2018, while also reiterating expectations of a 40% increase in e-commerce sales for the full year.
To increase its online sales, Walmart has improved its website design, pushed into international markets by purchasing Flipkart, India's largest e-commerce site, and added additional shipping options to make buying online more convenient for shoppers. Marc Lore, head of Walmart's U.S. e-commerce business, said that brands are more interested in selling on Walmart.com now that the website is easier for shoppers to navigate and has localized touches, according to a CNBC article.
Walmart's rising online sales show that the company's investment in bolstering its online presence to compete with Amazon is paying dividends. Investors who want to exposure to Walmart should consider adding one of these three exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to their portfolio.
VanEck Vectors Retail ETF (RTH)
The VanEck Vectors Retail ETF seeks to track the performance of the MVIS US Listed Retail 25 Index. To achieve this, the fund, created in 2011, invests the majority of its assets in securities that make up the underlying index. This includes the 25 largest U.S-listed stocks that generate at least 50% of their revenue from retail. Although Amazon commands the lion's share of exposure at 22.24%, Walmart still accounts for 9.25% of the fund's portfolio.
The VanEck Vectors Retail ETF has a 30-day SEC yield of 0.88% and has assets under management (AUM) of $167.3 million. The fund’s expense ratio of 0.35% is lower than the 0.53% category average. As of Sept. 2020, RTH has returned 16.77% over the past five years and 24.04% over the past three years. Year to date (YTD), the fund has benefited from robust consumer spending, returning an impressive 24.22%.
Fidelity MSCI Consumer Staples ETF (FSTA)
Launched in 2013, the Fidelity MSCI Consumer Staples ETF aims to provide similar returns to the MSCI USA IMI Consumer Staples Index. The fund does this by investing a minimum of 80% of its assets in securities that are constituents of the tracked index. The fund holds stocks in the U.S. consumer staples sector, with Walmart making up 9.35% of the ETF's portfolio. Other top holdings include Procter & Gamble Company (PG) at 15.77% and beverage giants Coca-Cola Company (KO) and PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP) at 9.62% and 8.89%, respectively.
The Fidelity MSCI Consumer Staples ETF has $792.2 million in net assets and charges investors a low annual management fee of just 0.084%. This four-star Morningstar fund has a three-year annualized return of 8.53% and a five-year annualized return of 9.67%, as of Sept. 2020. A dividend yield of 2.46% helps to offset the fund's lackluster performance.
Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC)
The Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF, formed in 2004, is designed to replicate the returns of the S&P 1500 Cons Staples TR Index. The fund achieves this by investing the majority of its assets in securities that comprise the benchmark index, namely U.S. stocks within the consumer staples sector. Walmart claims the fourth-largest allocation in the ETF's basket of stocks with an 8.70% weighting. VDC's portfolio is top-heavy, with its top 10 holdings carrying a cumulative weighting of 65%. In total, the fund holds 94 stocks.
The Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF charges a 0.1% management fee and has a substantial asset base of $5.7 billion. It also pays a 2.43% dividend. VDC has five- and three-year annualized returns of 9.54% and 8.39%, respectively, as of Sept. 2020. YTD, the fund has returned 4.91%.