Wal-Mart reported net sales for the five-week month of December were $28.795 billion compared to $27.920 billion last year, a 3.1% increase. Comparable store sales for the month increased 1.3%.
5 Weeks Ended 48 Weeks Ended Percent Percent 12-29-2006 12-30-2005 Change 12-29-2006 12-30-2005 Change Wal-Mart Stores $28.795 $27.920 3.1% $209.592 $194.861 7.6% Sam's Club 4.861 4.605 5.6% 38.607 36.939 4.5% International 10.340 7.925 30.5% 72.189 55.265 30.6% Total Company $43.996 $40.450 8.8% $320.388 $287.065 11.6%
Comparable sales for the periods ending Dec. 29, 2006, and Dec. 30, 2005,
were as follows:
5 Weeks Ended 48 Weeks Ended 12-29-2006 12-30-2005 12-29-2006 12-30-2005 Wal-Mart Stores 1.3% 2.4% 1.8% 3.4% Sam's Club 3.5% 3.2% 2.9% 3.8% Total U.S. 1.6% 2.5% 2.0% 3.5%
The 30.5% increase for the five-week period and the 30.6% increase for the 48-week period in International's net sales include sales from the consolidation of Seiyu and Wal-Mart Central America and the acquisition in Southern Brazil. These entities added 15.6 and 17.6 percentage points to the net sales increases in International for the five-week and 48-week periods, respectively.
During December, the Wal-Mart Stores Division had a very strong performance in electronics and the grocery business, including pets, household chemicals, paper goods, health and beauty, food and pharmacy.
“We believe Wal-Mart is becoming more of a destination for electronics as consumers recognize that we have a leadership position on low prices,” said Eduardo Castro-Wright, president and chief executive officer, Wal-Mart Stores Division, U.S. “Customers liked the values they found in digital TVs, digital audio products, computers and gaming systems.”
The DVD release of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Deadman's Chest” was a “huge hit” according to Castro-Wright, as DVD sales did well throughout the holidays. Wal-Mart's price rollbacks on board games, which started in mid- October and ran through Dec. 24, generated strong sales for toys, as did ride- on vehicles. Marketing spending was higher this December than last year, and Castro-Wright indicated that the Company's very focused messaging helped drive sales, especially in electronics and toys.
“People entertain more during the holidays and they liked our food and seasonal entertaining offerings,” Castro-Wright explained. “Sell-throughs of Christmas seasonal items were higher this year than last season, driven by strong sales in indoor decor, housewares, and poinsettias.”
While overall sales were soft in apparel and home as the Company had anticipated, pricing actions in apparel provided significant unit lift. Warmer than normal temperatures in most of the United States also contributed to a slow-down in sales of some winter seasonal items.
“Our stores and marketing were well positioned for traffic in the days after Christmas, as shoppers began to come in to spend their gift cards,” said Castro-Wright. “They found every day low prices and one-time offers on various electronics, as well as fitness gear and workout equipment.”
Average ticket drove the December comparable sales figure and the traffic trend was similar to November. The Company continued to see a negative impact on comparable store sales for the five weeks of December from the hurricane-related sales last year.
“While the impact on our comp sales from the hurricanes continues to trend downward, we expect to see an impact through the first quarter of the next fiscal year,” said Tom Schoewe, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. executive vice president and chief financial officer.
“Comparable store sales in the United States for the January five-week period are estimated to be between 1 and 2 percent,” Schoewe said. “We reiterate our previously stated earnings guidance from continuing operations of $0.88 to 0.92 per share for the fourth quarter and $2.85 to $2.89 per share for the full fiscal year.”
Detail on Comparable Sales Fuel Impact
Comparable sales that are presented in this release exclude the impact of fuel sales in the Company's Sam's Club segment. Fuel sales impacted the Sam's Club comparable sales figures for the five-week and 48-week period ending Dec. 29, 2006, by (0.5) and (0.3) percentage points, respectively. Fuel sales had no impact on the total U.S. comparable sales figures. Including the impact of fuel sales, the Sam's Club comparable sales figures for the five-week and 48- week period ending Dec. 29, 2006, would have been 3.0 and 2.6, respectively.