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Helped in no small measure by its still-burgeoning food sales, particularly in the perimeter, BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc. said yesterday that June 2008 sales soared by 18.8 percent to $1.05 billion, from $887 million in the year-ago period. June 2008 comparable-club sales jumped by 16.5 percent, including a contribution from sales of gas worth 8.2 percent. The company attributed merchandise comparable-club sales growth of 8.3 percent to a higher-than-expected mix of low-margin consumable items such as paper products, HBC, and household chemicals.
Excluding gas sales, traffic increased about 6 percent vs. last year, and the average transaction amount rose by about 2 percent, according to BJ's.
Food sales grew by about 11 percent, driven by strong sales of perishables. Sales of general merchandise went up by about 4 percent, due to solid sales of air conditioners and consumer packaged goods.
Departments with the strongest sales increases over last year included air conditioners, bakery, coffee, cookies, dairy, frozen, HBC, household chemicals, meat, oils and shortenings, pet food, paper, produce, soda and water, snacks, toys and video games. Among the weaker departments vs. last year were cigarettes, electronics, residential furniture, jewelry, storage, and televisions.
BJ's operates 178 clubs in 16 states.