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BJ’s reports August sales

4 September 2009 1,181 views No Comment

BJ Wholesale Club Inc., the Natick retailer that operates 184 warehouse club stores, said that August sales for stores open at least a year fell 6 percent.

Sales at stores open at least a year are known as same-store sales – or “comparable store sales” – and Wall Street analysts consider them as one of the most reliable barometers of a retailer’s performance.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected BJ’s same-store sales to drop 8 percent, the AP reported.

BJ’s reported that total August sales decreased by 1.9 percent, and it said that its same-store sales included a negative impact of 8.2 percent from lower gasoline prices and volumes versus last year. Excluding gasoline, merchandise same-store sales increased by 2.2 percent, said BJ’s, which added that a calendar shift in the timing of Labor Day weekend had a negative impact on same-store sales of approximately 2 percent, and the elimination of an annual tax-free weekend in Massachusetts had a negative impact of approximately 0.8 percent.

“Departments with the strongest sales increases compared to last year included air conditioners, breakfast needs, candy, cigarettes, computer equipment, frozen, health and beauty aids, household chemicals, housewares, paper products, pet food, prepared foods, produce, and small appliances,” BJ’s said in a press release.

“Departments with weaker sales compared to last year included apparel, electronics, jewelry, meat, milk, pre-recorded video, sporting goods, storage, televisions, and tires,” BJ’s said.

By Chris Reidy, Globe Staff

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