Wal-Mart Reports September Sales

Oct. 8, 2008

8 Min. Read

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Oct. 8 -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) reported net sales for the five- and 35-week periods ending Oct. 3, 2008, and Oct. 5, 2007, respectively, as follows (dollars in billions).

                                           Net Sales
                        5 Weeks Ended    Percent    35 Weeks Ended    Percent
                     10/3/2008 10/5/2007 Change  10/3/2008  10/5/2007  Change

    Walmart U.S.      $22.482   $21.447    4.8%   $165.123   $154.744   6.7%
    Sam's Club          4.391     4.066    8.0%     31.439     29.244   7.5%
    International       9.356     8.718    7.3%     66.810     57.730  15.7%
      Total Company   $36.229   $34.231    5.8%   $263.372   $241.718   9.0%

Comparable store sales for the five- and 35-week periods ending Oct. 3, 2008, and Oct. 5, 2007, respectively, appear below. The net impact of Hurricanes Gustav, Hanna and Ike on total U.S. comparable store and club sales was approximately negative 0.4 percentage points.

                               Five Weeks Comparable Store Sales
                    Without Fuel         With Fuel             Fuel Impact
                10/3/2008 10/5/2007 10/3/2008  10/5/2007  10/3/2008  10/5/2007

    Walmart U.S.   2.0%      0.8%      2.0%       0.8%       0.0%       0.0%
    Sam's Club     4.6%      4.4%      7.4%       4.1%       2.8%      -0.3%
      Total U.S.   2.4%      1.4%      2.8%       1.4%       0.4%       0.0%

                            Thirty-five Weeks Comparable Store Sales
                    Without Fuel         With Fuel             Fuel Impact
               10/3/2008  10/5/2007 10/3/2008  10/5/2007 10/3/2008   10/5/2007

    Walmart U.S.   2.8%      0.8%      2.8%       0.8%       0.0%       0.0%
    Sam's Club     3.5%      5.1%      6.7%       4.9%       3.2%      -0.2%
      Total U.S.   2.9%      1.5%      3.4%       1.5%       0.5%       0.0%

Walmart U.S.

Walmart U.S. had solid comparable store sales during the September period, despite the negative impact of approximately 0.5 percent from store closures due to the hurricanes that affected many areas of the country. The hurricanes forced the temporary closure of 341 Walmart U.S. stores in coastal areas and the upper Midwest, due primarily to the interruption of electrical power and other disruptions to operations.

"In spite of both the impact from the hurricanes and the recent challenges to consumer confidence as a result of the economic environment, Walmart U.S. had another period of solid comparable store sales performance," said Eduardo Castro-Wright, Walmart U.S. president and chief executive officer. "We continue to believe that the strong Walmart value proposition is bringing more and more customers to our stores. We are confident that the customers will continue to shop with us as we enter the holiday season."

Comparable store sales during the September period were strong in both grocery and health and wellness. Sales in grocery were led by food and consumables. Customers continue to look for basics for their families. Children's clothing was positive during the September period, while sales of discretionary items were soft. During October, customers will continue to find values on a full range of Halloween merchandise.

Sam's Club

Sales at Sam's Club during the September period were driven by strengths in fresh food, with produce leading the category. Within general merchandise, apparel sales were strong, as members reacted positively to new fall items. Categories with softer sales included house wares, furniture, video games and electronics. Within electronics, LCD TVs and small electronic devices, such as GPS units and digital audio, performed well.

"Sam's Club members continue to search for value in this economy," said Doug McMillon, Sam's Club president and chief executive officer. "Food and consumables, including fresh foods, are driving increases in comparable club traffic and ticket. While discretionary items are under pressure, members are reacting positively to new items. Price is the primary focus, but newness and quality still matter to them."

McMillon added that comparable club sales were strong in hurricane-affected areas during the back half of the period, providing a benefit to Sam's Club comparable club sales without fuel of approximately 0.5 percentage points.

Fuel sales continue to be strong, with increases both in dollars and gallons sold. Fuel prices were up significantly over the same period last year. The recent hurricanes in the Gulf Coast contributed to fuel market disruptions in some southeastern locations during the period. All Sam's Club gas stations are operating and available to serve members' needs.

Wal-Mart International

"While we are operating in tough economic conditions in many countries around the world, comparable sales continue be solid in many of our markets," said Mike Duke, vice chairman, Wal-Mart International. "In this environment, we continue to do what we do best, providing everyday low prices so customers around the world can save money and live better."

In the United Kingdom, ASDA delivered strong sales growth, as fresh and core grocery categories continued to perform well and sales of fall and winter George apparel exceeded expectations. Baby products also experienced strong sales growth because of a successful cross-category baby event.

Wal-Mart Brazil reported positive real comparable store sales in the low single digits. The best performances in the period came from Todo Dia stores and the Maxxi cash-and-carry business, which had strong sales in general merchandise.

At Wal-Mart Canada, total sales increased in the high single digits, with strengths in consumables, food and electronics. Sales were aided by Wal-Mart Canada's 14th anniversary event and competitive pricing on food staples and essentials. Sales in apparel and shoes slowed during the period. Comparable store sales were in the low single digits and slightly lower than the year to date.

In China, the Wal-Mart and Trust-Mart businesses delivered solid performances leading into the Mid-Autumn Festival. Average ticket in both businesses increased. Five new Wal-Mart supercenters opened during the month.

At Seiyu in Japan, comparable store sales were in the negative mid-single digits. Food sales were impacted by softer sales in beverages, produce, seafood and chilled foods. General merchandise sales continue to be negatively impacted by the strategic reduction of promotional activities, as Seiyu continues to migrate toward every day low pricing (EDLP). Baby product sales continue to improve due to this emphasis on EDLP.

Wal-Mart Mexico sales continued to be impacted by the slowdown of the Mexican economy. While consumer confidence has sharply declined during the past month, nominal comparable store sales were 3.8 percent higher for the five-week sales period, led by performances at Sam's Club and Bodega Aurrera. Wal-Mart Mexico reported its third quarter results yesterday, after the market closed.

Total International sales were impacted negatively by the strengthening of the U.S. dollar against the British pound.

International net sales figures for both five weeks and 35 weeks ended Oct. 5, 2007 included an immaterial adjustment to sales as reported in last year's September comparable store sales news release. These adjusted numbers on page one of this news release ($8.718 billion and $57.730 billion, respectively) do not affect Wal-Mart International's or the Company's consolidated net sales figures disclosed in quarterly earnings press releases or periodic filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.


The Company expects U.S. comparable store sales for the October four-week period to be between one and two percent, said Tom Schoewe, executive vice president and chief financial officer. The October four-week period runs from Saturday, Oct. 4 through Friday, Oct. 31, 2008.

"The September period included two first-of-the-month paydays, which generally benefit sales," Schoewe said. "However, the October period this year contains no first-of-the-month payday, and that is accounted for in our estimate.

"We maintain our current estimate for earnings per share from continuing operations for the third quarter ending Oct. 31, 2008 to be in the range of $0.73 and $0.76 per share," he said.

Wal-Mart will announce earnings for the third quarter of fiscal year 2009 on Nov. 13, 2008.

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.

This release contains statements that Wal-Mart believes are a "forward- looking statement" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, and that are intended to enjoy the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements provided by that act. These forward-looking statements relate to our management's expectations regarding the Company's customers shopping with the company during the holiday season, the Company's values on Halloween merchandise and our management's estimates for our comparable store sales in the United States for the October four-week reporting period to end October 31, 2008 and for our earnings per share from continuing operations for the third quarter of fiscal year 2009. These statements are identified by use of the words "will continue" "expects" and "estimate" in the statements. These forward-looking statements are 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 statements made in this release and not to place undue reliance on such statements. 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 statements. The forward-looking statements included in this release are 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.