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    Food Helps September Sales Rise at BJ's Wholesale Club

    NATICK, Mass. -- Thanks in large part to its food offering, BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc. said yesterday that September sales grew 8.6 percent to $798.9 million, from $735.4 million in the year-ago period.

    NATICK, Mass. -- Thanks in large part to its food offering, BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc. said yesterday that September sales grew 8.6 percent to $798.9 million, from $735.4 million in the year-ago period.

    September comparable-club sales went up 3.9 percent, including a positive impact of 0.2 percent from gasoline sales and a negative impact of 0.4 percent from the absence of pharmacy sales vs. last year, the warehouse club chain said.

    Last year BJ's posted a comparable-club sales decline of 0.9 percent for September, including an adverse impact from lower sales of gas of 0.3 percent.

    For the 35-week period ended Oct. 6, total sales jumped 7.5 percent and comparable-club sales rose 3.0 percent, including a contribution from gas sales of 0.5 percent and a negative impact from the absence of pharmacy sales vs. last year of 0.4 percent.

    Comparable-club food sales increased about 6 percent, while general merchandise sales went up about 1 percent.

    Departments with strong sales increases compared with last year included coffee, dairy, frozen, juices, meat, milk, office supplies, soda and water, snacks, small appliances, televisions, and toys. Among the weaker departments vs. September 2006 were apparel, cigarettes, furniture, pre-recorded video, seafood, and tires.

    BJ's operates 175 BJ's clubs in 16 states.

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