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April sales up across the board at Wal-Mart


BENTONVILLE, Ark. Wal-Mart Stores reported total company sales of $29.8 billion for the April sales period, an increase of 2.4% over sales of $29 billion for the same period last year.

Total U.S. comparable-store sales, excluding fuel, increased 5% for the month of April.

Comparable-store sales at Walmart U.S. increased 5.9% during the April period, due in part to the Easter calendar shift. Comparable-store sales for the combined March-April nine-week period increased 2.9%, driven by an acceleration of traffic and strength in seasonal and discretionary categories.

“Walmart U.S. comparable store sales in April continued to show the underlying strength of our business,” said Eduardo Castro-Wright, vice chairman, Wal-Mart Stores. “We gained new customers, improved our market share position and found that when customers had more money to spend, they spent it more often at Walmart.”

Grocery, health and wellness, hardlines, entertainment and home had positive comparable-store sales growth in the April period. Comparable-store traffic has increased for seven consecutive reporting periods, and was higher in April than in any of the previous six periods. Customers responded well to Easter seasonal offerings, resulting in high single-digit comps for seasonal products compared to the Easter period last year.

Sam’s Club’s sales during the April period continued to be driven by member demand for fresh food and consumables. The Easter shift unfavorably affected comparable-club sales, as Sam’s was closed for Easter Sunday, losing one selling day compared to last year. Comparable-club sales for the March-April nine-week period were 3.5%, excluding fuel.


Strong categories during the April period included produce, bread and pastry, floral, pet supplies and office electronics. Discretionary categories, such as jewelry, patio and furniture remain soft. The decline in certain commodity prices versus last year contributed to softer sales of some dry grocery products.


“Customers around the world are responding to basics such as fresh food, consumables and grocery. They are finding the value they’re searching for in our stores and clubs,” said Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart International. “Our leadership is focused on increasing productivity and managing expenses to ensure our ability to deliver value.”

Comparable-store sales at ASDA were strong, driven by greater customer traffic during the Easter season. Meat and grocery were again the best performing categories, while 200 new fresh product lines were launched during April. In non-food, George apparel sales continued to grow ahead of the market, with women’s wear the strongest performer.

At Wal-Mart de Mexico, total sales growth in the April period was 15.8% and comparable-store sales increased 7.8%. The strong performance was driven by an increase in customer count and average ticket at self-service formats. Bodega Aurrera and Walmart were the best performing in terms of comparable store sales and traffic, while Superama and Sam's Club had the strongest increases in average ticket.

Total sales at Wal-Mart Canada increased in the high-single digits for the period, while comparable-store sales were in the low single digits. Overall sales growth came from continued strengthening of food and consumable categories.


In Brazil, real sales growth was in the low double digits and real comparable-store sales were in the high single digits. Sales were impacted positively by the Easter season, which contributed to both higher average ticket and customer count. Hypermarkets and soft discounts posted comparable store sales of high single to low double digits, with the best performances in fresh, perishables and pharmacy.

In Japan, comparable-store sales were positive in the low single digits. Grocery continues to show strength, as well as the consumables categories where Seiyu has instituted every day low prices. Sales of apparel and general merchandise continue to be down because customers are limiting their discretionary spending.

In China, comparable-store sales were negative in low single digits at both Wal-Mart and Trust-Mart. A contracting economy in China is causing caution among customers, resulting in a decrease in traffic. Deflation in food and consumables impacted average ticket. At Wal-Mart, however, average ticket benefited from a variety of seasonal events, which helped improve basket size.

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