BJ's Wholesale Club Reports Higher April Sales

NATICK, Mass. -- BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc. here yesterday posted April 2006 sales that were up 5.5 percent to $599.8 million, from $568.5 million in the year-ago period. On a comparable-club basis, sales grew 1.2 percent, including a contribution from sales of gasoline of about 1.5 percent. Because of the timing of Easter, the April sales period included 27 days this year instead of last year's 28 days. The calendar shift affected sales adversely by about 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent, according to the company.

Last year the Company reported comparable-club sales growth of 8.4 percent for the month of April, including a contribution of 1.2 percent from gasoline sales.

For the first quarter ended April 29, total sales came to about $1.9 billion, an increase of 6.3 percent over the first quarter of 2005. Comparable-club sales for the first quarter of 2006 went up 2.0 percent including a contribution from gas sales of 1.4 percent. In the year-ago period BJ's posted a first-quarter comparable-club sales rise of 5.8 percent, including a contribution from sales of gas of 0.7 percent.

Comparable-club sales improved in all major markets, the company said, with the biggest increase in the Southeast. Comparable-club sales grew during the first, second, and fourth weeks one, two and four, and declined during the third week because of the Easter shift. Excluding gasoline sales, the average transaction amount for April rose about 4 percent and traffic decreased about the same amount.

BJ's also noted that on a comparable-club basis, food sales were slightly up, while general merchandise sales went down about 2 percent. Categories with solid comparable-club sales increases over last year included candy, household chemicals, electronics, personal health, produce, residential furniture, sporting goods, TV, and toys. Among the categories that didn't perform as well as they did last year were apparel, computer equipment, fresh meat, jewelry, and tires.

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