August CE Sales Slump At Discount Chains

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New York - CE sales grew sluggish for some of the nation's largest full-line discount chains last month, mirroring reports from the specialty channel.

Among those reporting August sales results,


said CE, including video games, music and movies, was the weakest performer within its hardlines business, which experienced a high single-digit decline in comparable store sales.

Net retail sales rose 3.4 percent in August to $5 billion while comp-store sales edged up 1.8 percent.

In a statement, Target chairman/CEO Gregg Steinhafel said the company is pleased with its strong back-to-school performance and "healthy" traffic trends.

Within the warehouse club channel,


said CE comps ran "slightly negative" in August due to soft TV sales. TV comps fell by the mid-single digits in unit and dollar volume, offset by strength in personal navigation and cell phones. Costco said computer comps were flat.

The company's net sales rose 9 percent in August to $5.9 billion while comp sales at U.S. stores increased 5 percent excluding the positive impact of higher gasoline prices.


BJ's Wholesale Club

, net sales rose 4.9 percent to $794.6 million and comps climbed 2.2 percent excluding gasoline. The company cited computer hardware among the month's strongest performers and room air and prerecorded video among the weakest.

Looking ahead, September results may be impacted by Hurricane Earl, which is expected to skirt the densely populated East Coast at the start of the key Labor Day sales period.


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