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Wal-Mart reports improvement in apparel sales in Feb
Mar '08
Wal-Mart Stores Inc reported net sales for the four-week periods ending Feb. 29, 2008, and March 2, 2007, respectively, as follows (dollars in billions).

Comparable store sales during the four-week February period exceeded the Company's expectations because of continued strength in the grocery, health and wellness and entertainment U.S. business segments.

Sales trends in apparel improved when compared to the last several months. Softness remained in the home area, due in part to pullback in the housing market and the economy.

"We're very pleased with the way customers responded to our merchandise offerings and the ongoing 'save money, live better' messaging across our U.S. stores in February," said Eduardo Castro-Wright, Wal-Mart Stores U.S. president and chief executive officer. "The comp sales results in our three largest businesses continued to outperform the market."

February sales strength continued in key categories including food, flat-panel TVs, digital audio, video games and the pharmacy. Valentine's Day seasonal categories did well.

For the February four-week period, sales at Sam's Club were driven by increased ticket for both business and Advantage members, with greater strength in the small business segment.

Strong sales areas included dry grocery, consumables and video games. Home furnishing-related items and apparel experienced softer sales relative to other categories.

During the February period, a combination of higher gas prices versus the prior year and volume increases impacted comparable club sales by a positive 2.4 percent. Excluding fuel sales, comparable club sales were up 2.8 percent.

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