US warehouse club retailer BJ’s Wholesale Club has reported a 4.9% increase in sales for January 2005 to US$495.9m, compared to $472.6m in January 2004, but sales in the last week of January were dented by severe snowstorms.

Comparable club sales increased by 1.9% for January, including a contribution from sales of petrol of approximately 0.3%. Chief executive Mike Wedge said comparable club sales increased by approximately 6% for the first three weeks and decreased by approximately 9% in week four. Sales for week four were negatively impacted by severe snowstorms affecting more than half of the chain.

Comparable club sales of food increased by approximately 10% for the first three weeks of January and approximately 5% for the full month.

Despite the sales shortfall in January, Wedge said the company is confirming its previously announced fourth-quarter earnings guidance of 69 to 73 cents per share.