Over 150 Years of Service to the Furniture Industry

 Furniture World Logo

Sam's Club Reports Strong Furniture Sales

Furniture World News on

Comparable store sales for the four- and 13-week periods ending May 2, 2008, and May 4, 2007, respectively, were as follows. Wal-Mart reports monthly sales on the National Retail Federation's (NRF) 4-5-4 calendar. The Company also reports sales and earnings for each of its fiscal quarters based on calendar months. Wal-Mart will report results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2009 on May 13, 2008, before the opening of trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The Company expects to report total net sales for the quarter ended April 30, 2008 of approximately $94 billion. Wal-Mart Stores Comparable store sales in the Wal-Mart Stores U.S. segment during the four-week April period were strong in grocery, health and wellness and entertainment. Sales strength continued in flat-panel TVs, with additional strong performance in April for video games and gaming systems. Sales were higher in food, dry grocery and consumables, while the allergy season helped drive sales of prescription and over-the-counter medications. Earlier this week, Wal-Mart announced an expansion of its prescription medication program, which now includes 90-day prescriptions for $10 on 350 medications, low prices on additional women's health medications and a $4 price on more than 1,000 over-the-counter medications. Apparel sales continued to recover, despite cold weather, with strengths in basics and consumables. The home area remains soft. Customers also responded to Wal-Mart's offerings during Earth Month, including hundreds of environmentally friendly products. "We continued to have solid execution in the stores at a time when customers rely on Wal-Mart for price leadership and exceptional value on everything," said Eduardo Castro-Wright, Wal-Mart Stores U.S. president and chief executive officer. "The economy continues to get tougher and the 'paycheck cycle' is more pronounced for customers than in past months. As money gets tighter for them toward the end of the month, sales drop more than we have seen in the past." Wal-Mart announced last week that it will cash economic stimulus checks at no charge and will continue to offer its customers more rollbacks and additional price savings. "Wal-Mart has great prices so customers can count on us to make their money go further," said Castro-Wright. "This early in the process, it's difficult to accurately forecast what impact the stimulus checks will have on consumer spending." Sam's Club Sam's Club had sales strengths in dry grocery and consumables during the April period. In general merchandise, sales were strong in office supplies, furniture and video games. Apparel, house wares and jewelry were soft during the period. Fuel sales were up in both gallons pumped and dollars sold, increasing comparable club sales by 2.9 percent. "We are pleased with the success of our 25th anniversary event in April, which recognized our existing members and allowed us to welcome new members to the clubs," said Doug McMillon, president and chief executive officer, Sam's Club. "The anniversary helped us demonstrate the value that Sam's Club provides to its members every day." Comparable club sales benefited from an additional selling day due to the occurrence of Easter Sunday in the April period last year, when the clubs were closed. The shift in the timing of Easter positively impacted the April sales period by approximately 200 to 250 basis points, offsetting the opposite impact reported in March. Sam's Club also is cashing economic stimulus checks at no charge as a service to members. Wal-Mart International "We continue to be pleased with Wal-Mart International's overall sales growth," said Mike Duke, vice chairman responsible for Wal-Mart International. "In the April period, we had healthy sales performances in the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil and China." ASDA continues to gain customer traffic in the United Kingdom, driven by its position as the lowest-priced supermarket at a time when consumer confidence is down. April increases came from fresh food, which benefited from the launch of 500 new or improved products nationwide. Canada's overall sales increase, with supercentre expansions, was in the high single digits for April. Easter-related categories were down year over year due to the shift in timing of the holiday, but that decrease was offset by strong sales in electronics, pharmacy and spring-related merchandise. Canada continues to experience solid comparable store sales, driven by increases in average ticket. Wal-Mart Brazil continued its recent positive performance, despite the Easter shift. Strong early merchandising for Mother's Day on May 11, and electronics and baby fairs bolstered Brazil's performance for April. Wal-Mart China had double-digit comparable store sales in April, driven by advertising promotions and customer service initiatives. Trust-Mart also delivered double-digit comparable store sales growth on higher customer traffic and average ticket. Mexico's sales growth in April continues to be driven by healthy increases in customer traffic. The best-performing formats were Superama and Sam's Club, while discretionary spending formats, Suburbia and Vips, continue to show negative comparable store sales. Guidance "We estimate U.S. comparable store sales, excluding fuel, for the May four-week period to be between flat and two percent," said Tom Schoewe, executive vice president and chief financial officer. "As Eduardo noted, it's currently difficult to quantify the impact from the stimulus checks." The May four-week period runs from May 3, 2008 through May 30, 2008. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart discount stores, supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam's Club locations in the United States. The Company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. The Company's securities are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting http://www.walmartstores.com. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.

Furniture World Magazine-Business solutions for furniture retailers