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Costco sales upward bound in May

BY David Salazar

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco’s first monthly sales report since it beat Wall Street expectations with its Q3 results shows it continuing to right its ship after a difficult Q1 and Q2.

The company reported a 7% increase in net sales for the month, bringing in $9.86 billion, compared with 9.23 billion during the year-ago period. Comparable-store sales also rose for the month by 5.2% in the United States, with comps in Canada declining 2.2% and other international comps increasing 4.9%. Overall, Costco’s comps for May were 4.1%. Canadian comps saw the impact of changes in gas prices and foreign exchange, as they rose 3% when those factors were excluded.

In the 39 weeks ended May 28, Costco has seen net sales of $92.11 billion, an increase of 6% over the $87.18 billion in sales it reported for the same period last year. In the United States, comps for the year-to-date period are up 3.6%, with a 4.2% increase in Canadian comps and a 0.7% increase in other international comparable sales.

The company ended its May with 732 warehouses.

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Fred’s continues on transformation pathway with 0.8% lift in May comps

BY Michael Johnsen

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fred’s on Thursday reported a 3.1% decline in total sales for the four-week fiscal month of May, which ended May 27, 2017, to $160.1 million. The decrease in sales is related to the closure of 39 underperforming stores in the first quarter, the company reported.

“This month we continued to deliver on our 2017 goals and execute our healthcare transformation," stated Michael Bloom, Fred's CEO. "We are pleased with our performance in the month, with total comparable store sales for May increasing 0.8% compared with the prior year. We are seeing substantial momentum in our retail and specialty pharmacy businesses, creating opportunities for growth throughout the company."

Comparable store sales for May included a negative 1% impact as a result of the sale of low productive discontinued inventory versus May of last year.
 

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BJ’s Wholesale Club makes 2 key digital hires

BY Marianne Wilson

WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — BJ’s Wholesale Club has tapped two experienced retailers to drive its digital innovation and omnichannel strategy.

BJ’s announced that Scott Kessler has been named EVP, CIO, effective immediately. He succeeds Peter Amalfi, who plans to retire later this year.

Most recently, Kessler was executive VP, CIO, at Belk, a $4 billion department store chain with nearly 300 stores. Prior to that, he was SVP products technology at GSI Commerce, a global provider of e-commerce and interactive marketing services for some of the world’s leading brands. Kessler also held a leadership position at Accenture.

In addition, Rafeh Masood has joined BJ’s in the newly created role of SVP, chief digital officer. He will drive the strategy and vision for the company’s e-commerce and omnichannel efforts. He will focus on programs and initiatives that drive sales, showcase value and enhance convenience for members.

Masood joins BJ’s from Dick’s Sporting Goods, where he was VP customer innovation technology. At Dick’s, Masood was responsible for all digital platforms, enterprise architecture and the use of technology to improve the customer experience.

“BJ’s has made rapid progress in our omnichannel initiatives, and I’m pleased to have two new executives of this caliber join our team as we transform our company,” said Christopher J. Baldwin, president and CEO, BJ’s Wholesale Club. “Both Scott and Rafeh have extensive experience in building teams and delivering the technology and systems that drive growth. They will lead the investment in technology, people and systems as we build the omnichannel and digital platforms that showcase our value and deliver convenience to our members.”

BJ’s operates 214 warehouse club stores. It is wholly owned by affiliates of Leonard Green & Partners, CVC Capital Partners and its management team.

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