Wal-Mart Reports August Sales

Sep. 4, 2008

8 Min. Read

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Sept. 4 -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) reported net sales for the four- and 30-week periods ending Aug. 29, 2008, and Aug. 31, 2007, respectively, as follows (dollars in billions).

                                              Net Sales
                        4 Weeks Ended    Percent     30 Weeks Ended    Percent
                   8/29/2008  8/31/2007  Change   8/29/2008  8/31/2007 Change

    Walmart U.S.    $19.419    $18.157    7.0%     $142.641   $133.297   7.0%
    Sam's Club        3.634      3.344    8.7%       27.048     25.178   7.4%
    International     7.614      6.721   13.3%       57.454     49.012  17.2%
      Total Company $30.667    $28.222    8.7%     $227.143   $207.487   9.5%

Comparable store sales for the four- and 30-week periods ending Aug. 29, 2008, and Aug. 31, 2007, respectively, were as follows.

                               Four Weeks Comparable Store Sales
                     Without Fuel          With Fuel           Fuel Impact
                 8/29/2008 8/31/2007  8/29/2008 8/31/2007  8/29/2008 8/31/2007

    Walmart U.S.    2.8%      2.8%       2.8%      2.8%       0.0%      0.0%
    Sam's Club      4.2%      5.2%       7.5%      4.0%       3.3%     -1.2%
      Total U.S.    3.0%      3.1%       3.5%      3.0%       0.5%     -0.1%

                               Thirty Weeks Comparable Store Sales
                     Without Fuel          With Fuel            Fuel Impact
                 8/29/2008 8/31/2007  8/29/2008 8/31/2007  8/29/2008 8/31/2007

    Walmart U.S.    3.1%      0.8%       3.1%      0.8%       0.0%      0.0%
    Sam's Club      3.3%      5.2%       6.4%      5.0%       3.1%     -0.2%
      Total U.S.    3.1%      1.5%       3.7%      1.5%       0.6%      0.0%

    Walmart U.S.

"The underlying business performance for Walmart U.S. continued to show strength and the improved relative performance has resulted in market share gains," said Eduardo Castro-Wright, Walmart U.S. president and chief executive officer.

Comparable store sales for the period were strongest in grocery and health and wellness. Grocery sales were led by food and consumables, including value-priced meal solutions. Other categories that fared well included flat-panel TVs, digital audio, cell phones and services, GPS units, fitness equipment and camping products.

Customers also responded well to school and college seasonal offerings throughout the store, driving sales in denim products, licensed apparel, school supplies and home furnishings. As with other seasonal events, customers are shopping closer to their needs. With many more schools opening later this year, overall business accelerated at the end of the month.

As of yesterday, fewer than 50 Walmart stores in the Gulf Coast area remained closed as a result of power outages and other issues related to Hurricane Gustav.

Sam's Club

Sales at Sam's Club during the August period were driven by strengths in fresh food, dry grocery and consumables, including pet supplies. In general merchandise, apparel benefited from solid sales of fall transitional items. Softness continued in house wares and furniture.

"For the fifth consecutive sales period, Sam's Club experienced increases in comparable club traffic and ticket with both our Business and Advantage members," said Doug McMillon, president and chief executive officer of Sam's Club. "The sales mix continues to move more toward food and consumable items as members buy more basics at Sam's Club. Our back-to-college sales performance reflected that trend, with necessities driving purchases over more discretionary items. We launched our collegiate membership program in July, which is helping us introduce students to our value proposition."

Fuel sales continue to be a strong driver of top-line sales growth, with increases both in dollars and gallons sold.

While 13 clubs in the Gulf Coast area were closed for at least one day as a result of Hurricane Gustav, all have since reopened.

Wal-Mart International

"While there are increased economic challenges in some of our markets, Wal-Mart International showed a double-digit sales gain," said Mike Duke, vice chairman, Wal-Mart International. "We continue to respond to the needs of our customers by fine-tuning our product offerings and emphasizing price leadership everywhere we do business."

Total International sales were negatively impacted by the strengthening of the dollar against the British pound in the August period. In the United Kingdom, ASDA continued a string of strong sales months, again outperforming the market, particularly in core fresh food and grocery categories. Sales were particularly strong in the period leading up to the annual bank holiday on Aug. 25, despite poor weather. Music, DVDs and games performed well and summer seasonal inventory is expected to be in good shape at the end of the season. ASDA opened its 16th ASDA Living store during the period, in Stratford-upon-Avon, where initial sales exceeded expectations.

Wal-Mart Brazil achieved solid August comparable store sales, driven by hypermarkets in the Southeast, supermarkets in the South and the Maxxi cash and carry business. Strong categories included consumables, bakery and softlines.

Wal-Mart Canada delivered solid sales results, despite unusually wet weather. Electronics, pantry food and consumables performed well, while apparel sales were helped by strong sell-through of seasonal clearance merchandise. Back-to-school-related merchandise categories were soft, but with strengths in stationery and paper goods.

In China, a solid sales performance at Wal-Mart was driven by promotional activities. Although customer traffic declined slightly due to the Olympic Games, average ticket was higher. Sales at Trust-Mart were driven by increases in both customer traffic and average ticket.

At Seiyu in Japan, August was a challenging month, with overall comparable store sales running in the negative low single digits. Food sales were lower due to a decline in beverage sales, lower tobacco sales and continued softness in chilled foods. General merchandise and apparel sales were lower due to a planned reduction in promotional activities.

Wal-Mart Mexico continued its healthy sales growth in the August period, driven by increases in traffic at the self-service formats. The Mexican consumer continues to be cautious, leading to weak average ticket from lower demand for high ticket items. Wal-Mart de Mexico will announce its specific comparable store sales at approximately 4 p.m. EDT today.


"We estimate U.S. comparable store sales, excluding fuel, for the September five-week period to be between two and three percent," said Tom Schoewe, executive vice president and chief financial officer. "Our value proposition and the underlying business remain strong."

The September five-week period runs from Aug. 30, 2008 through Oct. 3, 2008. Sales results for the September period will be reported Oct. 8, a day earlier than previously announced, to avoid a conflict with Yom Kippur, which is observed on Oct. 9.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Walmart discount stores, supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam's Club locations in the United States. The Company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom and, through a joint venture, in India. The Company's common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting http://www.walmartstores.com. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.

Ed. Note: The terms "Wal-Mart" and "Wal-Mart Stores" refer to the corporate entity. "Walmart," expressed as one word and without hyphenation, refers to the brand name of the Company's U.S. operations. This distinction came after the Company announced the introduction of a new logo for its U.S. store operations in June.

This release contains a statement that Wal-Mart believes is a "forward-looking statement" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, and that is intended to enjoy the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements provided by that act. This forward-looking statement relates to our management's estimates for our comparable store sales in the United States for the September five-week reporting period to end October 3, 2008. This statement is identified by use of the word "estimate" in the statement. This forward-looking statement is subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, domestically and internationally, including general economic conditions, the availability of consumer credit, consumer spending patterns and debt levels, unemployment levels, fuel prices, inflation levels, weather conditions, competitive pressures and other risks. The Company discusses certain of these matters and other risk factors more fully in its filings with the SEC, including its most recent annual report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC. This release should be read in conjunction with that annual report on Form 10-K and certain other Company filings with the SEC through the date of this release. The Company urges you to consider all of these risks, uncertainties and other factors carefully in evaluating the forward-looking statement made in this release and not to place undue reliance on such statement. As a result of these and other matters, including changes in facts, assumptions not being realized or other circumstances, our actual results may differ materially from those discussed in such forward-looking statement. The forward-looking statement included in this release is made only as of the date of this release, and we undertake no obligation to update such statement to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

SOURCE  Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    -0-                             09/04/2008
    /CONTACT:  Investor Relations, Recorded Sales Message, +1-479-273-8446, or
Carol Schumacher, +1-479-277-1498, or Mike Beckstead, +1-479-277-9558, or
Media Relations, John Simley, 1-800-331-0085, all of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc./
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CO:  Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
ST:  Arkansas

-- LATH514 --
3920 09/04/2008 07:01 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com