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June CE Sales Mixed For Discount Chains

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.