Wal-Mart's Same-Store Sales Rise in January

By Staff | February 5, 2009 | 9:08 AM EST
New York (AP) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, said Thursday that same-store sales rose 2.1 percent in January as consumers continued to hunt for bargains and bought necessities like groceries.
Sales in stores open at least one year, a key retail metric known as same-stores sales, rose 2.1 percent at the company's U.S. namesake stores and 2.4 percent at its Sam's Club warehouses during the four weeks ended Jan. 30.
Including fuel, same-store sales rose 1.5 percent.
The results edged past Wal-Mart's own forecast for sales that would be flat to up 2 percent, as well as analyst expectations for a 1.1 percent rise.
The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer says total sales edged up nearly 2 percent to $27.74 billion from $27.26 billion last year.
The company said sales were driven by higher customer traffic. At Wal-Mart Stores, groceries and health products sold better than other products. At Sam's Club, food was the biggest seller as well, and baby care and pet items were also strong.
International sales fell 7 percent to $6.65 billion, hurt by the stronger dollar.
Wal-Mart said that it will stop providing a monthly forecast of same-store sales and estimate same-store sales on a quarterly basis instead. It will continue to report monthly same-store sales, however.
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