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BJ'S August Sales Surge 12 Percent

NATICK, Mass. – BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc. yesterday said that its sales for August 2005 rose 12 percent to $598.0 million, from $534.1 million in the same period last year. On a comparable-club basis, sales grew 5.6 percent for the month, including a contribution from sales of gasoline of about 3.4 percent, and healthy comp increases of food.

For the 30 weeks ended Aug. 27, the company reported that sales went up 9.1 percent to $4.3 billion from $4.0 billion in the year-ago period.

According to BJ's, comparable-club sales rose in all major markets, with the biggest increase in the Southeast region. Additionally comparable-club sales went up in all four weeks of August, with the strongest increase in the third week.

Excluding sales of gasoline, traffic declined by about 1 percent, and the average transaction amount went up around 3 percent.

Comparable-club sales of food increased about 5 percent, while general merchandise sales were a sore spot, decreasing approximately 1 percent. Among the merchandise categories with the biggest sales increases over last year were air conditioners, beauty care, coffee, household chemicals, electronics, juices, paper products, produce, soda and water, summer seasonal, and TVs.

Categories that didn't perform as well included computer equipment, film and battery, residential furniture, small appliances, sporting goods, and video game hardware and software.

BJ's currently operates 161 clubs, including two ProFoods Restaurant Supply clubs, and 85 gas stations, vs. 152 clubs and 80 gas stations last year.
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