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    Food Comps Outpace GM for Nov. Sales at BJ's

    NATICK, Mass. -- Thanks in no small part to an improved food offering, BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc. yesterday reported that November 2007 sales rose 11.7 percent to $746.3 million, from $668.2 million in the year-ago period. For the 43-week period ended Dec. 1, 2007, total sales grew

    NATICK, Mass. -- Thanks in no small part to an improved food offering, BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc. yesterday reported that November 2007 sales rose 11.7 percent to $746.3 million, from $668.2 million in the year-ago period. For the 43-week period ended Dec. 1, 2007, total sales grew 8.1 percent to $7.1 billion, from $6.6 billion for the 43-week period ended Dec. 2, 2006.

    Comparable-club sales for November 2007 went up 7.7 percent, including a positive impact from gasoline sales of 3.2 percent and a negative impact from the absence of pharmacy sales vs. last year of 0.4 percent.

    In 2006, the retailer posted a comparable-club sales increase of 0.6 percent for November, including an adverse effect from lower gas sales of gasoline of 1.3 percent. Comparable-club sales rose 3.6 percent for the 43 weeks ended Dec. 1, 2007, including a contribution from gas sales of 0.9 percent and an adverse effect from the absence of pharmacy sales vs. last year of 0.4 percent.

    BJ's said comparable-club food sales rose about 7 percent and general merchandise comps increased about 2 percent. Among the departments with the strongest sales increases compared with last year were candy, coffee, dairy, frozen, health & beauty aids, juices, meat, produce, snacks, televisions, and video games. Weaker departments vs. last year included cigarettes, residential furniture, recorded media, jewelry, and toys.

    BJ's currently operates 176 clubs in 16 states.

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