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Costco exceeds expectations in July; increases at Target and TJX just slightly below forecasts

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New York City Costco Wholesale Club said its same-store sales rose 6% in July, helped by fuel sales and international revenue, which was better than the 5.5% analysts had forecast. The company reported net sales of $5.86 billion, up from $5.42 billion in 2009.

Same-store sales rose 4% in the United States and 14% internationally. Food, home furnishings, jewelry and men's apparel were strong sellers, while electronics, including TVs, were weaker.

Target said Thursday an increase in customers and higher food sales helped July revenue in stores open at least a year rise 2%, just short of analyst expectations of a 2.3% increase, according to a Thomson Reuters poll.

Target’s total revenue for the four weeks ended Aug. 1 rose 4% to $4.59 billion. The chain said strong food, household and beauty product sales were coupled with weak electronics, video games, music and movie sales. The average total purchase per customer shrank, but more customers bought items. Strongest regions were the upper Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic states, while California, Arizona and New Mexico were weaker.

TJX Cos., which runs the T.J. Maxx and Marshalls chains, reported a 2% rise in same-store sales in July, a bit short of the 2.4% increase analysts were expecting. Total revenue for the four weeks ended July 31 rose 6% to $1.5 billion.

TJX CEO Carol Meyrowitz said in a statement that the company managed inventories tightly during the second quarter, which resulted in less clearance merchandise in July.

While that might have hindered revenue growth, she said, second-quarter margins and net income "are in excellent shape."

In other same-store sales results for July:

  • BJ's Wholesale Club’s same-store sales rose 2.8% in July. Excluding gasoline sales, the measure rose 1.9%. Its results fell short of expectations.
  • Big Lots’ same rose 3.8% in the second quarter. Total revenue for the three months ended July 31 rose 6% to $1.13 billion.
  • Fred's sales rose 2.7%, below forecasts.

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