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Signs Of Life In July Retail Sales, Financials

8/05/2010 12:55:32 PM Eastern

New York - Overall retail sales were drab in July, but consumers
spent more in warehouse clubs and discounters than other retail channels.

Costco reported a 6
percent gain in same-store sales, mostly due to fuel sales and currency gains.
Net sales rose 8 percent to $5.86 billion from the previous year. The company
said it saw the strongest results in Texas and the Midwest, Southeast and Northwest
regions of the United States.

At BJ's, same-store sales
climbed 2.8 percent in July (1.9 percent excluding gasoline sales). Net revenue
for the month rose 6.6 percent to $770.3 million, up from $722.5 million.

The chain also released its quarterly financial report, which
showed same-store sales for the quarter up 4.4 percent, or 2.9 percent
excluding fuel sales. Net revenue for the quarter climbed 8.6 percent to $2.72
billion, up from $2.51 billion last year.

Target cited increased
consumer traffic for it 2 percent gain in same-store revenue in July, but
electronics sales were called "weak."

CE specialty retailer Conn's
said monthly same-store sales returned to the black in July, after a
three-month growth trend, but overall sales for the quarter declined 6.1
percent to $178.7 million, compared with last year's quarter. The company
improved its retail gross margin to approximately 25 percent for the quarter.

Conn's cited a 20 percent drop in the average selling price of
flat-panel TVs, for a decline in consumer electronics category sales. Home
appliance category sales declined during the quarter on lower unit sales,
primarily in the refrigeration and room air conditioning categories, though
average selling prices increased.

Strong sales of accessories, MP3 players and desktop computers
were offset primarily by declines in sales of camcorders, digital cameras, GPS
devices, netbooks, computer monitors and video game hardware, the chain said.

hhgregg also announced
quarterly results, reporting a whopping 53.3 percent gain in net sales over
last year's period. Comp-store sales for the quarter rose 6.3 percent,
primarily driven by a 16.1 percent increase in majap sales and a 2.4 increase
in the video category. Net income nearly doubled, to $2.7 million from $1.4
million.

hhgregg opened 26 new stores in the quarter and remains on track
to open another 12 stores by the end of the second fiscal quarter, with a total
of 40 to 45 new stores in fiscal year 2011.

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