May CE Sales Mixed For Discount Chains

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New York - Comparable store sales rose moderately in May for Target, Costco and BJ's Wholesale Club on a mixed performance in CE.

Target

said net retail sales rose 3.8 percent to $4.8 billion last month while comparable store sales edged up 2.8 percent due to "much slower traffic" in the latter part of May. "Our guests continue to shop cautiously in light of higher energy costs and inflationary pressures on their household budgets," chairman/president/CEO Gregg Steinhafel reported.

Comp store sales in hardlines, which includes CE and toys, fell by the mid-single digits, Target said, on weakness in music, movies and books.

At

Costco

, net sales rose 17 percent in May to $7.1 billion and U.S. comp store sales increased 6 percent, excluding the positive impact of higher gasoline prices. But CE comps fell by the mid- to high-single digits on declines in audio and digital imaging, due partly to camera supply issues stemming from the earthquake in Japan.

The declines were partially offset by a low double-digit increase in computer comps and a double-digit increase in TV unit and dollar volume despite a 10 percent decline in average TV selling prices.

At

BJ's

, net sales rose 10.7 percent to $952.9 million last month and comps increased 3 percent excluding gasoline. Computers and electronics were among the strongest performing categories in May, while TV and prerecorded video were among the weakest.

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