June CE Sales Mixed For Discount Chains

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New York - CE purchases for dads and grads had a mixed impact on net sales at three of the country's largest discount chains in June.

Underscoring the results, MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse cited "a sharp year-over-year decline" in June CE sales due to "continued pricing pressure and the lack of new products," the market research firm suggested.

Among retailers reporting monthly results, Target said June sales rose 5.7 percent to $6.3 billion and comp-store sales increased 4.5 percent, driven by an increase in average transaction size and comparable store transactions. CE was the strongest performing category within the company's hardlines assortment, while music, movies and books was the weakest.

Within the wholesale club channel, Costco said net sales rose 18 percent in June to $8.7 billion and U.S. comp-store sales increased 8 percent, excluding the positive impact of higher gasoline prices. CE comp sales fell by the mid-single digits, led by weaker sales of audio, imaging and navigation products. The declines were partially offset by computers, which enjoyed low double-digit comp increases, and by TV, which was up double digits in unit and dollar volume.

However, TVs still experienced price deflation in the mid-single-digit range, Costco said, and the company "is still working through some supply issues" in imaging as a result of the difficulties in Japan.

At BJ's Wholesale Club, June sales rose 10.3 percent to $1.2 billion and comp sales increased 3.5 percent excluding gasoline. Computer equipment was among the chain's strongest performers while TV and pre-recorded video were among the weakest. Last month the company agreed to be acquired by two equity investment groups in a $2.8 billion cash deal that is expected to close in the fourth quarter.


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