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Wal-Mart same-store sales rise in September

10
Oct '08
Wal-Mart Stores Inc reported net sales for the five- and 35-week periods ending Oct. 3, 2008, and Oct. 5, 2007, respectively, as follows (dollars in billions). Comparable store sales for the five- and 35-week periods ending Oct. 3, 2008, and Oct. 5, 2007, respectively, appear below. The net impact of Hurricanes Gustav, Hanna and Ike on total U.S. comparable store and club sales was approximately negative 0.4 percentage points.

Walmart U.S. had solid comparable store sales during the September period, despite the negative impact of approximately 0.5 percent from store closures due to the hurricanes that affected many areas of the country. The hurricanes forced the temporary closure of 341 Walmart U.S. stores in coastal areas and the upper Midwest, due primarily to the interruption of electrical power and other disruptions to operations.

“In spite of both the impact from the hurricanes and the recent challenges to consumer confidence as a result of the economic environment, Walmart U.S. had another period of solid comparable store sales performance,” said Eduardo Castro-Wright, Walmart U.S. president and chief executive officer. “We continue to believe that the strong Walmart value proposition is bringing more and more customers to our stores. We are confident that the customers will continue to shop with us as we enter the holiday season.”

Sales at Sam's Club during the September period were driven by strengths in fresh food, with produce leading the category. Within general merchandise, apparel sales were strong, as members reacted positively to new fall items. Categories with softer sales included house wares, furniture, video games and electronics.

McMillon added that comparable club sales were strong in hurricane-affected areas during the back half of the period, providing a benefit to Sam's Club comparable club sales without fuel of approximately 0.5 percentage points.

Fuel sales continue to be strong, with increases both in dollars and gallons sold. Fuel prices were up significantly over the same period last year. The recent hurricanes in the Gulf Coast contributed to fuel market disruptions in some southeastern locations during the period. All Sam's Club gas stations are operating and available to serve members' needs.

Wal-Mart International : “While we are operating in tough economic conditions in many countries around the world, comparable sales continue be solid in many of our markets,” said Mike Duke, vice chairman, Wal-Mart International. “In this environment, we continue to do what we do best, providing everyday low prices so customers around the world can save money and live better.” In the United Kingdom, ASDA delivered strong sales growth, as fresh and core grocery categories continued to perform well and sales of fall and winter George apparel exceeded expectations. Baby products also experienced strong sales growth because of a successful cross-category baby event.

Wal-Mart Brazil reported positive real comparable store sales in the low single digits. The best performances in the period came from Todo Dia stores and the Maxxi cash-and-carry business, which had strong sales in general merchandise. At Wal-Mart Canada, total sales increased in the high single digits, with strengths in consumables, food and electronics. Sales were aided by Wal-Mart Canada's 14th anniversary event and competitive pricing on food staples and essentials. Sales in apparel and shoes slowed during the period. Comparable store sales were in the low single digits and slightly lower than the year to date.


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