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    Wal-Mart December Sales Rise 8 Percent

    NEW YORK - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said today its sales at stores open at least a year rose 8 percent in December, topping company forecasts, Reuters reports.

    NEW YORK - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said today its sales at stores open at least a year rose 8 percent in December, topping company forecasts, Reuters reports. The company said in a conference call that it is seeing more customers in its stores, but they are buying lower-priced items.

    Other food retailers reporting December store sales today:

    -- Target Corp. said its net retail sales for the five weeks ended Jan. 5, 2002 increased 7.5 percent to $6.550 billion from $6.093 billion for the five-week period ended
    Dec. 30, 2000. Comparable-store sales increased 0.6 percent from fiscal December 2000.

    -- Kmart Corp. reported that net sales decreased 1.0% on a same-store basis for the five-week period ended Jan. 2, 2002, and total net sales were $5.524 billion, essentially level with $5.539 billion for the same period last year.

    -- Costco Wholesale Corporation reported net sales of $4.27 billion for the five weeks ended Jan. 6, 2002, an increase of 13 percent from $3.78 billion in the same five-week period of the prior fiscal year.

    -- BJ's Wholesale Club Inc. reported that sales for December increased by 12.0% to $696.6 million from $622.2 million in December 2000. Comparable club sales increased 5.8% for the month.

    -- Family Dollar Stores Inc. reported sales for the five-week period ended Jan. 5, 2002, of approximately $531.4 million, or 18.3% above sales of $449.1 million for the similar period in the prior fiscal year.

    -- 7-Eleven Inc. reported a 4.2 percent increase in its U.S. same-store merchandise sales for Dec. 2001, on top of 2.5 percent for December 2000. Total merchandise sales for December 2001 were $573 million, an increase of 5.1 percent over the December 2000 total of $545 million.

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