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August CE Sales Slump At Discount Chains

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

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

, 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

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