BJ's Wholesale Club Sees Sales Rise in August

NATICK, Mass -- BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc. yesterday reported August 2007 sales of $661.7 million, a 6.4 increase from $622.2 million in August 2006. Comparable-club sales for August 2007 rose 1.4 percent, counting a negative impact of 2.4 percent from gasoline sales and a negative impact of 0.4 percent from the absence of pharmacy sales vs. last year.

In 2006 BJ's experienced a comparable-club sales increase of 2.3 percent in August, including a contribution from gas sales of 1.2 percent.

For the 30-week period ended Sept. 1, 2007, total sales grew 7.3 percent and comparable-club sales rose 2.8 percent, including a contribution from gas sales of 0.6 percent and a negative impact from the absence of pharmacy sales vs. last year of 0.4 percent.

Excluding the adverse impact from gasoline and pharmacy, sales went up in all four weeks of August, according to the company, with the highest increase in the first week, mainly because of strong sales of air conditioners. The lowest comp-sales increase was in the third week.

Leaving out gas sales, the average transaction amount grew about 5 percent, BJ's said, adding that a decrease in traffic of about 1 percent reflected last year's open house marketing event during the second half of August 2006.

The retailer noted that excluding the negative impact of gasoline and pharmacy, the largest sales increase was in the Metro New York region. All other regions saw positive sales increases with the exception of the Southeast, which continued to experience more competition and self-cannibalization than the other regions, BJ's said.

Comparable-club food sales increased about 5 percent, and general merchandise sales rose about 3 percent, according to the company. Departments with strong sales growth over last year included air conditioners, dairy, frozen, meat, milk, office supplies, soda and water, and televisions. Among the weaker departments vs. last year were cigarettes, electronics, furniture, tires, and toys.

BJ's operates 175 clubs in 16 states.
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