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    Wal-Mart Posts Strong U.S. Comps in February

    Grocery and fresh food helped spur comparable-store sale increases at Walmart U.S. and Sam's Club.

    Wal-Mart Stores' net sales at its Walmart U.S. division for the four-week period ending Feb. 27, 2009 showed a healthy 8.1 percent increase over the year-ago period, and Sam's Club and the total company posted 3.1 percent and 2.8 percent net sales growth, respectively but International net sales were down 10.8 percent, a development the company attributed to -20.7 percent impact from exchange currency rates.

    Comparable-store sales were strong at Walmart U.S. and Sam's Club, which reported rises of 5 percent and 5.9 percent without fuel, and 2.6 percent and 3.1 percent with fuel, respectively. Comps for the company's total U.S. operations were 5.1 percent without fuel and 2.7 percent without fuel.

    Walmart U.S.' comp-sales growth was driven largely by an acceleration of traffic, the company noted, adding that average ticket also increased. Grocery, health and wellness and entertainment were standout performers, and home and hardlines were also positive.

    At Sam's Club, comps were propelled by fresh food, dry grocery and consumables. Additionally, bread and pastry, meat and pet supplies were strong categories. Housewares sales were solid, as members opted to cook and entertain at home. Furniture, jewelry and other large-ticket categories remained soft.

    Wal-Mart Stores operates Walmart discount stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam's Club locations in the United States. The company also operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom.

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