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Discount Chains Report Brisk Jan. Sales

2/08/2007 10:23:00 AM Eastern

New York – National full-line discount chains said business was brisk in January, with computers, TVs and video games helping to heat up sales.

Among those reporting revenues, Wal-Mart said net sales at its flagship stores rose 9.6 percent to $20.5 billion for the five weeks ended Feb. 2, while same store sales rose 1.9 percent. Net sales at Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club wholesale club division rose 4 percent to $3.7 billion and same store sales increased 3.4 percent during the period.

The company reported “strong” sales of laptop and desktop computers, HDTVs, digital audio products, and video game hardware and software in January.

For the full fiscal year, net sales increased 7.7 percent at Wal-Mart Stores to $230.1 billion and comparable store sales climbed 1.9 percent. At Sam’s Club, fiscal year-end net sales were $42.3 billion, up 4.5 percent, and comp sales increased 2.9 percent.

At Target, net sales for the five weeks ended Feb. 3 increased 37.3 percent to $4.9 billion, reflecting an extra week in the company’s 2006 fiscal calendar. Same store sales, excluding the extra week, increased 5.1 percent.

For the full fiscal year, Target’s sales grew 12.9 percent to $57.9 billion, including the extra week, and comp sales climbed 4.8 percent excluding the extra week.

At Costco Wholesale Corp., net sales increased 7 percent to $5.6 billion company-wide for the five weeks ended Feb. 4 while domestic comp sales increased 3 percent. Strongest January performers included computers, A/V, TV, and white goods.

BJ’s Wholesale Club reported an 8.5 percent increase in net sales for the five weeks ended Feb. 3, to $724.2 million, and a same store sales gain of 3.5 percent. For the full fiscal year, net sales rose 5.2 percent to $8.3 billion and comps increased 1.2 percent. BJ’s counted TVs and video games among its strongest sellers last month, and prerecorded video among its weakest.