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Target’s May comps miss forecast

BY DSN STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS — Target reported a 2.8% same-store sales increase for May, falling short of Wall Street’s expectation for a 3.5% increase, as consumers remained cautious with their spending.

The retailer reported that net sales for the four-week period were $4.8 billion, an increase of 3.8% from $4.6 billion for the four weeks ended May 29, 2010.

“May sales were near the low end of our expected range, driven by a much slower traffic trend in the second half of the month,” said Gregg Steinhafel, Target chairman, president and CEO. “Our guests continue to shop cautiously in light of higher energy costs and inflationary pressures on their household budgets. As a result, we’re focused on delivering more value than ever by offering reliably low prices on high-quality, well-designed merchandise both in our stores and at Target.com.”

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Warehouse clubs deliver big comps in May

BY Gail Hoffer

ISSAQUAH, Wash. and WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — Costco Wholesale and BJ’s Wholesale reported strong sales growth and produced impressive comps even without the benefit of fuel sales.

Costco reported that net sales for the month of May increased 17% to $7.14 billion from $6.09 billion last year. This year’s May results period included sales from the company’s Mexico joint venture. If these sales are excluded, Costco’s net sales increase would have been 14%.

Costco’s total same-store sales, including the beneficial impact of gas prices and foreign currencies, were up 13% (11% at its U.S. operations and 21% internationally). Excluding the benefit of fuel, total company same-store sales rose 7%, U.S. same-store sales rose 6% and international sales rose 12%.

BJ’s reported that net sales for May increased by 10.7% to $953 million from $861 million in May 2010. According to the company, departments with the strongest sales increases compared to last year included beauty care, coffee, computers, cookies, dairy, deli, electronics, frozen, meat, milk, paper, prepared foods, produce, salty snacks and small appliances. Departments with weaker sales compared to last year included apparel, diapers, juices, plants and shrubs, plates and utensils, pre-recorded video and televisions.

BJ’s same-store sales were up 7.4% for the month, which included a contribution from gasoline sales of 4.4%. Excluding the impact of gasoline, merchandise comparable-club sales increased by approximately 3%.

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Rite Aid’s same-store sales show improvement

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Same-store sales at Rite Aid increased by 1.3% in May, compared with the year-ago period, the retail pharmacy chain said Thursday.

Reporting sales for the five-week period that ended May 28, Rite Aid said front-end same-store sales increased 1.8%, while same-store sales in the pharmacy increased by 1%, including a 129-basis-point offset due to introductions of new generic drugs. Prescription count increased 0.1%.

Total drug store sales during the period were nearly $2.5 billion, a 1% increase over $2.45 billion in May 2010.

Same-store sales for the 13-week quarter that ended May 28 increased by 0.8%, compared with the same period last year, including flat same-store sales at the front end and a 1.1% increase in pharmacy same-store sales.

Total drug store sales for the quarter were flat, with sales of $6.7 billion, compared with $6.4 billion last year. As of May 28, the company had 4,704 stores, compared with 4,767 stores at the same time a year ago.

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