CE, Majaps Part Of Mixed Q1 For Chains



Quarterly reports from a variety publicly- held national chains were, as they have been for a few quarters, mixed.

Tough winter weather may have held back shoppers from going to brick and mortar locations and, when mentioned, CE and majaps got lukewarm reviews, at best, on sales performance.


U.S. sales were $62.7 billion, up 0.6 percent from the prior year’s $62.3 billion. Operating income for the segment was $4.65 billion, up 0.8 percent from the prior year’s $4.615 billion.

Sam’s Club

segment reported sales of $12.8 billion in the quarter, up 9.4 percent from the prior year’s $11.7 billion. Operating income in the quarter was $459 million, up 7 percent from the prior year’s $429 million.

In a pre-recorded earnings call, Walmart U.S. president/ CEO Bill Simon reported mid single-digit negative comps in CE due to “price deflation in key electronics items.” Nevertheless, TV unit sales were strong as customers used tax refund loans during the quarter, and the chain continues to see solid prepaid wireless sales, especially in services, Simon said.

Walmart’s U.S. comp sales were down 1.1 percent, compared with the prior year’s first quarter when it was down 1.4 percent. Sam’s Club had comp-store sales up 4.2 percent compared with a 0.7 percent increase last year.

Sears Holdings

reported a $170 million net loss in its fiscal first quarter with lower major appliance and CE sales getting some of the blame compared with net income of $16 million in last year’s first quarter.

Total revenues decreased $341 million to $9.7 billion for the quarter ended April 30, 2011, as compared to total revenues of $10.0 billion year-on-year. The domestic comparable store sales results included decrease at Sears Domestic of 5.2 percent and Kmart of 1.6 percent. Appliances experienced a low doubledigit decline and benefited in the prior year from government appliance rebate programs in effect last year.


reported first-quarter earnings up 2.7 percent to $689 million as sales rose 2.8 percent to $15.6 billion during the three months ended April 30, and same-store sales increased 2 percent. But Gregg Steinhafel, Target’s chairman/president and CEO described the retail results as “weaker than anticipated.”


North American retail sales for the first quarter were $2.328 billion, an increase of 1 percent in U.S. dollars from $2.312 billion.

Comp-store sales decreased 1 percent vs. the first quarter of 2010, primarily reflecting a decrease in customer traffic in the Canadian retail business, partially offset by higher average order size.

North American retail business unit income wasa $177.3 million for the quarter up from the prior year’s $176.5 billion.

BJ’s Wholesale Club

had net income was $33.7 million in the quarter compared with the prior year’s net income of $26.1 million. Net sales were $2.77 billion, up 10 percent from the prior year’s $2.51 billion.

Merchandise comp store sales excluding gasoline were up 2.4 percent. Among the weaker categories for the wholesale club during the quarter was TVs.

For the home improvement chains results were mixed.


net earnings were $461 million, a 5.7 percent decrease from the same period a year ago for the quarter ended April 29. Sales for the quarter decreased 1.6 percent to $12.2 billion from $12.4 billion year on year. Comp store sales for the first quarter decreased 3.3 percent.

Home Depot

reported fiscal first quarter net earnings of $812 million for the quarter ended May 1 compared with net earnings of $725 million for the same period last year.

Sales for the first quarter totaled $16.8 billion, a 0.2 percent decrease from the first quarter of last year. Comparable store sales for the first quarter were negative 0.6 percent, and comp sales for U.S. stores were negative 0.7 percent.

– Steve Smith and Alan Wolf


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