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    Grocery Highlights Wal-Mart's January Sales Forecast

    BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Demand for groceries at its stores were instrumental in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. here maintaining its sales forecast for January, the retailer said Saturday.

    BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Demand for groceries at its stores were instrumental in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. here maintaining its sales forecast for January, the retailer said Saturday.

    In the latest of its periodic recorded messages detailing sales forecasts, Wal-Mart said that demand for groceries (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) on Saturday maintained its January sales forecast, and said demand for groceries outpaced general merchandise sales.

    On a recorded message detailing sales through Friday, the world's biggest retailer said it still expects 3 percent to 5 percent same-store sales growth in January, and added that demand for groceries is outpacing demand for general merchandise products.

    Wal-Mart added that gift card demand during the holiday season had been stronger than anticipated, and that might have edged some sales growth into January, when the cards presumably are being redeemed.

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