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BJ's sees rise in comps, decrease in ticket


NATICK, Mass. BJ's Wholesale Club reported that sales for September increased by 4.1% to $928 million from $891.1 million in September 2008. Comparable-club sales for September, excluding gasoline sales, increased by 5.5%. According to the company, the increase in merchandise comparable-club sales reflected a benefit of approximately 1.5% from a calendar shift in the timing of Labor Day, which moved pre-holiday sales into the month of September versus August last year.

Over at rival Costco, net sales for September were $6.85 billion, an increase of 3% from $6.67 billion during the similar five-week period of the prior year. Total company comparable-store sales, excluding fuel, were up 4%.

BJ's noted that merchandise comparable-club sales saw the strongest increases in the New England and Metro New York regions. The company noted as well that, excluding sales of gasoline, traffic was up by about 7% over last year and the average transaction amount decreased by approximately 1%, and reflected continued deflation in a number of high velocity departments, including dairy, eggs, meat, milk, oils & shortenings, plastic trash bags and televisions.

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