New York - National discount chains posted positive November sales thanks partly to strong CE sell-through.
A key exception was Costco, which cited lower comp-store sales across core CE categories.
What's more, BJ's Wholesale Club said sales rose highest during the second week of November, supporting reports of flat brick-and-mortar sales on Black Friday.
Among those reporting monthly tallies, Target said net sales for the four weeks, ended Nov. 28, rose 5.7 percent to $6 billion while comp-store sales increased 5.5 percent. Chairman/CEO Gregg Steinhafel attributed the better-than-expected results to "very strong" traffic throughout the month and "compelling holiday merchandising and marketing programs," including a new 5 percent cash-back credit card offer.
Target said CE and toys posted the strongest comp-sale gains within the hardlines category, while music and movies were among the weakest.
The discount chain is projecting a low- to mid-single-digit comp-sale increase in December.
Within the warehouse club channel, Costco said net sales, including sales from its joint venture in Mexico, rose 12 percent to $6.8 billion for the four weeks, ended Nov. 28, while U.S. same-store sales excluding gasoline increased 6 percent. Net sales excluding Mexico operations rose 9 percent.
Comp-store sales for CE fell by the low double-digit range, with TVs, audio, computers and cameras all posting lower same-store sales. Costco said TV comps declined by the mid- to high-single digit range despite a low-single-digit increase in unit sales.
Average transaction amounts were up 3 percent and traffic increased 5.5 percent company-wide compared with last year.
At BJ's Wholesale Club, net sales for the four weeks, ended Nov. 27, rose 8 percent to $900.1 million and comp sales increased 3.8 percent excluding gasoline. Sales increased each week of the month, but they rose the highest during the second week of November.
BJ's cited CE and video games among its strongest monthly performers but reported weaker comps for computer equipment and prerecorded video.