BJ's May Sales Surge, but Food Sales Are Variable

NATICK, Mass. -- Produce sales stayed strong, but meat didn't sell as well as it did last year, noted BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc. here which yesterday posted a May 2006 sales increase of 8.6 percent to $655.5 million, from $603.4 million last year. Comparable-club sales rose 4.2 percent, including a contribution from gasoline sales of about 2.2 percent. In May 2005, BJ's experienced a comparable-club sales rise of 0.5 percent, including a contribution from gas sales of 20 basis points.

According to the company, comparable-club sales were highest in the second week and lowest in the third, reflecting a calendar shift in the timing of Mother's Day vs. last year. Comparable-club sales went up in all of BJ's major markets, with the highest increases reported in the upstate New York and the Mid-Atlantic regions.

Excluding gasoline sales, the average transaction amount for May grew about 6 percent and traffic declined around 4 percent, the retailer noted.

On a comparable-club basis, food and general merchandise sales each went up about 2 percent. Among the categories with strong comparable club sales increases over last year were automotive and tools, beer, electronics, major appliances, paper products, personal health, produce, summer seasonal, and televisions. Categories that performed less well compared with last year included candy, computer equipment, DVDs, meat, men's apparel, and tires.

BJ's currently operates 165 BJ's clubs and two ProFoods Restaurant supply clubs.
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