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BJ's Wholesale Club February Sales Up 10.4% But Furniture Sales Decline

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BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc. reported that sales for February 2005 increased by 10.4% to $535.9 million from $485.2 million in February 2004. Comparable club sales increased by 6.7% for the month of February, including a contribution from sales of gasoline of approximately 30 basis points. For the February sales period last year, the Company reported comparable club sales of 7.9% including a contribution from sales of gasoline of 30 basis points. Commenting on sales results, BJ's president and chief executive officer, Mike Wedge said, "Results for the month of February reflect a continued strong sales trend in fresh food and grocery items. On a comparable club basis, food increased by 11%, helped by quality upgrades in produce and additional fresh foods versus last year, and general merchandise sales were approximately even with last year." The Company provided the following additional information regarding February sales: On a comparable club basis, sales were strongest during week one, due in part to a calendar shift in the timing of the Superbowl from the last week of January last year, and softest in week two due in part to a snowstorm in the Northeast. By major region, comparable club sales were strongest in the Southeast and softest in Upstate New York. Excluding sales of gasoline, the average transaction amount for the month of February rose by approximately 4% and traffic increased by approximately 2%. For the month of February, categories with strong comparable club sales increases included bakery, beauty care, beer, cereal, coffee, dairy, juices, liquor, milk, paper products, prepared foods, produce, snacks, trash bags, toys, televisions and wine. Weaker categories included best seller books, film, furniture and jewelry. Sales also declined in categories that were contracted or eliminated during the spring of 2004, including automotive, major appliances, office supplies, sporting goods and home storage.

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