New York – National discount chains reported continued weakness
in consumer electronics last month despite a rebound in net September sales.
said net retail
sales for the five weeks ended Oct. 2 rose 3.1 percent to $5.6 billion and comparable-store
sales increased 1.3 percent. CE, including video games, was among the month’s
weakest performers, contributing to a mid-single digit decline in the company’s
In a statement, chairman/CEO Gregg Steinhafel described the September
results as “near the low end of our expectations,” but said he was pleased with
the company’s back-to-school and back-to-college business. He described traffic
trends as strong, which helped offset a small decrease in average transaction
Steinhafel added that two new initiatives have positioned Target
well for the holiday selling season: a 5-percent discount on all purchases made
with the company’s private-label and Visa debit and credit cards, and expanded
food departments in 462 remodeled stores.
Within the warehouse club channel,
reported a 10 percent increase in net sales for the five
weeks ended Oct. 3, to $7.5 billion, and a 2 percent gain in U.S. comp-store
sales. Comp sales of CE and appliances fell by the high single digits, led by
TVs which declined by the low double digits in both unit and dollar volume.
The company also released its fiscal fourth-quarter and full-year
results. For the three months ended Aug. 29, net sales rose 8 percent to $23.6
billion, U.S. comp sales increased 3 percent excluding gasoline, and profits
rose 15.5 percent to $432 million.
For the full year ended Aug. 29, net sales rose 9 percent to
$76.3 billion, U.S. comp sales increased 2 percent excluding gasoline, and
profits rose 19.2 percent to $1.3 billion.
BJ’s Wholesale Club
September sales rose 3.6 percent to $961.6 million and comp sales edged up 0.8
percent excluding gasoline. The company included TVs and video software on its list
of weakest categories last month and, like Target, cited an increase in traffic
but a decrease in transaction size.