By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Bentonville, Ark.— Sales at Wal-Mart stores climbed 15.2 percent in the company's fiscal first quarter, reaching $35.4 million, up from $30.8 million in the year-ago period. Wal-Mart stores enjoyed an 8.6 percent increase in comp-store sales for the three months. In the first quarter, ending April 30, operating profit in the Wal-Mart Stores segment, including Supercenters, jumped 16.1 percent, to $2.6 billion, compared with $2.2 billion in the same three months in 2001. The retailer defines this as profit before interest, unallocated corporate expenses and income taxes. Sales at Sam's Club for the first quarter rose 11.6 percent, hitting $7.3 billion, up from $6.5 billion in the first quarter of last year. Sam's comp-store sales for the first three months increased 5.7 percent. The Sam's Club segment had an operating profit for the first quarter of $218 million, flat, when compared with the same quarter in 2001. Total Wal-Mart Stores sales for the first three months increased 14.4 percent, to $55 billion, up from $48.1 billion in the previous years first quarter. Net income for the first quarter was $1.7 billion, up 19.4 percent from the $1.4 billion reported in the year-ago period. Total company comp-store sales for the first three months were up 8.1 percent.
Minneapolis— Fiscal first-quarter sales at Target Corp.'s Target stores segment soared 18.6 percent, hitting $8 billion, up from $6.8 billion in the year-ago period. Target stores segment comp-store sales increased 6.8 percent. Pre-tax profit at the Target stores segment jumped 35.1 percent, to $678 million, compared with $502 million in the same three months in 2001. Overall first-quarter revenue at Target Corp. increased 15.1 percent, reaching $9.6 billion, up from $8.3 billion in the year-ago first quarter. Overall comp-store sales increased 5.2 percent. Overall first quarter net earnings increased 35.9 percent, reaching $345 million, compared with $254 million in the first quarter of 2001.
Wilkesboro, N.C.— Home improvement retailer Lowe's enjoyed a 22.6 percent rise in sales in its first fiscal quarter, hitting $6.5 billion, compared with $5.3 billion in the year-ago period. Comp-store sales rose 7.5 percent in the first three months. Net earnings for the first quarter, ended May 3, jumped 53.5 percent, reaching $345.8 million, up from $225.3 million in the same three months in 2001. Looking ahead, Lowe's expects total sales to increase by about 21 percent to 22 percent in its second fiscal quarter, with comp-store sales increasing 4 percent to 6 percent during the same period. The retailer is looking for a gross margin improvement of 50 to 60 basis points in the second quarter, with flat to slight leverage in SG&A. Total sales are expected to increase about 19 percent to 20 percent in the fiscal year, ending Jan. 31, 2003. The retailer anticipates a comp-store sales increase of about 5 percent in the fiscal 12 months.
Atlanta— Riding the shopping rush of an early spring, sales at The Home Depot jumped 17 percent in the home improvement retailer's fiscal first quarter, reaching $14.3 billion, up from $12.2 billion in the same three months in 2001. Comp-store sales increased 5 percent. Net income climbed a healthy 35 percent in the first quarter, ended May 5, hitting $856 million, compared with $632 million in the year-ago period. During the first quarter, The Home Depot opened 57 stores, the highest number of quarterly openings in the retailer's history.
Natick, Mass. — Net sales at BJ's Wholesale Club increased 11.1 percent in the retailer's fiscal first quarter, to $1.3 billion, up from $1.1 billion in the year-ago period. BJ's reported strong sales across most food and consumables categories, leading to a 4 percent comp-store increase during the first three months. Net income at BJ's in the first quarter, ended May 4, was relatively flat, with the company reporting $23.1 million, compared with $23 million in the same quarter in 2001. First-quarter results include pre-opening expenses of $3.3 million pre-tax, an increase of $3 million over last year's first quarter.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.