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No June Swoon At Retail As Sales Soar

7/07/2005 01:41:00 PM Eastern

New York — The return of warm weather fueled a surge in retail sales last month, as consumers shrugged off high energy prices and flocked to stores for room air conditioners and other seasonal items.

Among CE specialty retailers reporting sales results, Tweeter Home Entertainment Group said that revenue for its fiscal third quarter, ended June 30, remained essentially flat at $167 million while comparable store sales — excluding 19 closing locations — declined 3.8 percent.

Interim CEO Joe McGuire said the quarter was highlighted by a 44 percent spike in home labor sales, to $10 million, while TV unit sales grew 12 percent in April and May, exceeding industry volume which slipped approximately 2 percent during the period.

Separately, Tweeter has hired Paul Burmeister as interim chief financial officer, ostensibly to fill McGuire’s former post should his CEO status become permanent.

Within the discount channel, Wal-Mart’s net sales surged 11.7 percent to $20.2 billion for the five weeks, ended July 1, following a months-long slump, while comp-store sales gained 4.6 percent.

Similarly, Target saw its net sales soar 16 percent to $4.6 billion for the five weeks ended July 2, while same-store sales rocketed 9 percent.

Among wholesale clubs, Costco said net sales rose 12 percent companywide to $5.2 billion for the five weeks ended July 3, while same store sales rose 9 percent companywide and 8 percent at U.S. locations.

At Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club division, net sales grew 6.9 percent to $3.9 billion and comp sales gained 4 percent during the five weeks ended July 1.

For BJ’s, net June sales increased 8.9 percent to $796.1 million, and same-store sales grew 4.3 percent. The company said brisk sales of room air and fans were responsible for about 1 percent of the comp gains, and that CE — and TV in particular — also enjoyed “strong” comparable sales increases. BJ’s included computer equipment among its “weaker categories” last month.

Elsewhere, novelty CE seller Sharper Image said net revenue fell 9 percent companywide in June while same-store sales edged up 1 percent.