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    Food Helps BJ's Wholesale Club Post July Increases

    NATICK, Mass. -- BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc. yesterday reported that sales for July grew 9.3 percent to $582.3 million from $532.6 million in the year-ago period, with grocery categories playing a significant roles in the gains.

    NATICK, Mass. -- BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc. yesterday reported that sales for July grew 9.3 percent to $582.3 million from $532.6 million in the year-ago period, with grocery categories playing a significant roles in the gains.

    On a comparable-club basis, sales rose 4.7 percent last month, including a positive impact from sales of gas of about 1.4 percent. Last year BJ's posted comparable-club sales growth of 6.4 percent for July, including a positive impact from sales of gasoline of 2.1 percent.

    For the second quarter ended July 30, 2005, total sales went up 7.7 percent and comparable-club sales grew 3.2 percent, including a contribution from sales of gasoline of 0.4 percent. For the 26 week period ended July 30, total sales grew 8.7 percent and comparable-club sales rose 4.4 percent, including a contribution from gas sales of 0.5 percent.

    "Sales results for the month of July reflected hotter weather throughout most of the chain vs. last year," BJ's president and c.e.o. Mike Wedge noted in a statement. "On a comparable-club basis, food sales increased by approximately 5 percent, driven primarily by double-digit sales increases of beverages, paper products, prepared foods, and produce. In general merchandise, high double-digit sales increases of air conditioners as well as strong sales of electronics, lawn and garden, summer seasonal, televisions, and a new Harry Potter book were offset by lower year-over-year sales of computer equipment, film, furniture, sporting goods, and video game hardware and software. As a result, comparable-club sales of general merchandise were essentially flat vs. last year."

    Additionally, BJ's reported that on a comparable-club basis, for the month of July as well as for the second quarter, traffic was essentially flat compared with last year and the average transaction amount went up about 3 percent. These calculations exclude gasoline sales.

    Further, the company said that comparable-club sales were positive in all major geographic regions, although the biggest sales increase was in the Southeast. Over the four-week period, comp sales increases varied from a high of 6.4 percent in the second week to a low of 3.5 percent in the fourth week.

    BJ's operates 161 clubs, including two ProFoods Restaurant Supply clubs, and 85 gas stations, vs. 151 clubs and 78 gas stations last year.

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