USA: Wal-Mart weekly sales summary
This is the weekly update for Oct. 23 and includes sales through Friday. The four-week period will extend from Saturday, Sept. 30, through Friday, Oct. 27. Sales were below plan for the Wal-Mart division and on plan for the SAM'S division for the third week of the period, although sales for the month are still tracking in the given 4-6 percent range. After posting strong numbers last week, the customer count at both divisions was essentially flat, but the average ticket and merchandise mix still remained strong. Overall, sales of Halloween merchandise appear to be progressing well and ahead of last year. Electronics sales, including pre-paid cell phones, pre-recorded video and DVD are also strong. Discretionary spending remains good as seen through items such as appliances, electronics, office equipment and furniture, which seems to signal that the consumer does have liquidity. The Wal-Mart division reported its best results in pet supplies, health and beauty aids, paper products, cosmetics, floral, electronics and fresh food. Electrical appliances also had a strong week, driven by the expansion of our GE programs. The division's best areas geographically were in the West and the Northeast. SAM'S strongest areas were paper products, pharmacy, food, floral, electronics, apparel, office equipment, furniture, small and major appliances, toys, tires and optical. Also, renewal memberships remain strong. The International division's best performances came from South Korea and Canada. In Mexico, the Supercenters and SAM'S also had a good week. Our original October estimate that we communicated at the time of the September sales announcement was 4-6 percent. Three weeks of the four-week period are now complete and sales for the month are still tracking in the given 4-6 percent range.
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