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NATICK, Mass. -- BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc. yesterday posted October 2006 sales of $602.6 million, a 2.5 percent rise from the $588.1 million reported in the year-ago period. However, despite a strong showing from some grocery categories, comparable-club sales declined 0.7 percent for the month, including a negative impact from gas sales of 2.5 percent.
Last year, the retailer reported a comparable-club sales rise for October of 2.9 percent, including a positive impact from gas sales of 3.3 percent.
Meanwhile, for the third quarter ended Oct. 28, 2006, total sales grew 2.9 percent but comparable-club sales crept up just 0.1 percent, including an adverse impact from sales of gas of 0.6 percent. For the first nine months of fiscal 2006, total sales increased 4.9 percent and comparable-club sales edged up 1.3 percent, including a contribution from gas sales of 0.9 percent.
According to the company, comparable-club sales of food increased about 3 percent and general merchandise sales declined about 1 percent. Among the categories with solid comparable-club sales increases over last year were paper products and produce.
The company noted that the third week of the month showed the largest decrease in comparable-club sales, attributable to the comparison with pre-Hurricane Wilma stock-up sales last year, while the fourth week of October 2006 conversely benefited from the negative impact of Wilma in the year-ago period.
BJ's currently operates 170 clubs, including two ProFoods Restaurant Supply clubs and 92 gasoline stations.