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Strong food sales help drive up Q1 comps for BJ’s Wholesale Club

BY DSN STAFF

WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — BJ’s Wholesale Club reported net income of $33.7 million, or 62 cents per diluted share, for the first quarter ended April 30.

Results for first quarter 2011 exceeded the company’s guidance for net income in the range of $29.5 million to $31.5 million, or 54 cents to 58 cents per diluted share.

BJ’s president and CEO, Laura Sen, said, “BJ’s is off to a great start in 2011. Our stronger-than-expected performance for the first three months of 2011 reflects net sales above plan, continued margin expansion and excellent cost control. I am very proud of our team members in the field, distribution centers and home office for delivering another great quarter.”

Net sales for first quarter 2011 increased by 10% to $2.77 billion, and comparable-club sales increased by 6.3%, including a contribution from gasoline sales of 3.9%. Merchandise comparable-club sales excluding gasoline increased by 2.4%.

Departments with the strongest comparable-club sales increases included bakery, dairy, deli, frozen, health and wellness, meat, milk, prepared foods, produce and small appliances. Weaker departments vs. last year included apparel, books, cigarettes, diapers, prerecorded video and televisions.

For the year ending Jan. 28, 2012, the company now expects to report net income in the range of $147 million to $157 million and earnings per diluted share in the range of $2.68 to $2.88. For the second quarter ending July 30, the company expects to report net income in the range of $40.5 million to $42.5 million and earnings per diluted share in the range of 74 cents to 78 cents.

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Off! introduces new insect repellent products

BY Allison Cerra

RACINE, Wis. — An insect repellent brand has revamped its product line.

Off! introduced its latest innovation, Off! Deep Woods Dry, which offers comfortable protection in heavily wooded areas. The brand also introduced Off! Botanicals towelettes and lotions, which are made with a plant-based repellent that protects against mosquitoes, black flies, gnats and no-see-ums. What’s more, the Off! brand has redesigned its Off! Clip-On mosquito repellent, which now is 25% smaller.

Off! Deep Woods Dry retails for $5.99 for a 4-oz. can, Off! Botanicals towelettes and lotions retail for $4.99 each and the Off! Clip-On mosquito repellent retails for $8.99 for the starter kit. Off! products are available nationwide, including at CVS/pharmacy, Target and Walmart.

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CVS/pharmacy helps customers save at the pump

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy is helping its shoppers save money on gas this summer with a new program that enables customers to earn free gas by purchasing select items at its stores nationwide.

With gas prices reaching $4 per gallon nationally, CVS/pharmacy is offering members of its ExtraCare Rewards program the ability to earn one $10 gift card to Exxon/Mobil, Shell, BP Amoco or BP Arco every week by spending $30 on specially marked items found in the weekly CVS/pharmacy circular. The program runs from May 22 to Aug. 28.

All of the qualifying products will be tagged with a "Get Free Gas" icon to make them easily identifiable. Eligible items will rotate each week.

Once ExtraCare customers reach the $30 required purchase threshold, a special coupon will print on their receipt that can be redeemed immediately in store for a $10 gas card. If customers prefer to wait to redeem their coupon, they have up to 30 days to do so. There is a limit of one redemption per week for each ExtraCare cardholder.

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