Wal-Mart Reports Strong January Sales Performance

Feb. 5, 2009

8 Min. Read

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Feb. 5 -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) reported net sales for the four- and 52-week periods ending Jan. 30, 2009 , and Feb. 1, 2008 , respectively, as follows (dollars in billions).

                                           Net Sales
                    4 Weeks Ended      Percent      52 Weeks Ended     Percent
                1/30/2009   2/1/2008    Change  1/30/2009    2/1/2008   Change

     U.S.        $17.964     $16.937     6.1%    $253.895    $238.973     6.2%
     Club          3.131       3.156    -0.8%      46.519      44.254     5.1%
    International  6.647       7.170    -7.3%      97.847      91.788     6.6%
       Company   $27.742     $27.263     1.8%    $398.261    $375.015     6.2%

On a constant currency basis (assuming foreign exchange rates remained the same as the prior year), International sales increased 11.0 percent in the January period. With an 18.3-percent impact from foreign currency, reported sales decreased 7.3 percent in the International segment.

Comparable store sales for the four- and 52-week periods ending Jan. 30, 2009 , and Feb. 1, 2008 , respectively, appear below.

                            Four Weeks Comparable Store Sales
                    Without Fuel          With Fuel           Fuel Impact
                1/30/2009  2/1/2008  1/30/2009  2/1/2008  1/30/2009  2/1/2008

     U.S.         2.1%       0.2%       2.1%      0.2%       0.0%      0.0%
    Sam's Club    2.4%       2.1%      -1.5%      4.9%      -3.9%      2.8%
      Total U.S.  2.1%       0.5%       1.5%      0.9%      -0.6%      0.4%

                            Fifty-two Weeks Comparable Store Sales
                   Without Fuel            With Fuel          Fuel Impact
                1/30/2009  2/1/2008  1/30/2009  2/1/2008  1/30/2009  2/1/2008
     U.S.          2.7%      0.9%       2.7%      0.9%       0.0%      0.0%
    Sam's Club     3.1%      4.2%       4.3%      4.9%       1.2%      0.7%
      Total U.S.   2.8%      1.4%       3.0%      1.5%       0.2%      0.1%

Wal-Mart reports monthly sales on the National Retail Federation's (NRF) 4-5-4 calendar. The company also reports sales for each of its fiscal quarters based on the calendar months within the quarter and the fiscal year, which begins each year on Feb. 1 . The company expects to report total net sales for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2009 of approximately $401 billion and these results will be announced Feb. 17 .

Walmart U.S.

"We are pleased that we exceeded our expectations for comp store sales in January," said Eduardo Castro-Wright , vice chairman, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. "Our sales results were driven by a continuation of gains in customer traffic. Clearly, our stores are performing very well, as we continue to emphasize customer service and innovative merchandising."

Comparable store sales were strong in grocery and health and wellness. Walmart U.S. met or exceeded expectations in home, entertainment and hardlines and continued to outperform the market in these merchandise units.

"Every day, our stores deliver our promise to customers that they can save money and live better by shopping at Walmart ," Castro-Wright said. "Our 52-week comp growth is three times higher this year than it was last year. Our January results contributed to a strong performance for the fourth quarter and the year."

Sam's Club

"Despite members being cautious with discretionary spending, demand for food and consumables drove solid sales increases during the January period," said Doug McMillon , former Sam's Club president and CEO who became president and CEO of Wal-Mart International on Feb. 1 . "Our Stock Up event drove traffic and delivered strong sales on basics. Winter storms negatively affected operations in the central states and Ohio Valley at the end of the month, but our associates limited the interruption by getting the clubs back open quickly."

For the January period, fresh food, dry grocery and consumables drove comparable club sales. Baby care and pets were strong categories. Furniture, home-related products, and office supplies were soft. Traffic was higher for Advantage and Business members, with Business members showing an increase in average ticket.

Fuel gallons sold increased in the January period. However, lower fuel prices resulted in lower fuel sales revenue compared to the same period last year.

Wal-Mart International

"The global economy continues to impact our customers," said Mike Duke , who became president and chief executive officer, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. on Feb. 1 . "It is especially true in these tough times that we continue to serve the underserved around the world through many of our formats. After a successful tender offer last month, I am very pleased to welcome Chile's largest food retailer, Distribucion y Servicio , into the Wal-Mart family."

Sales from each country are covered on a constant currency basis, excluding any impact from changes in exchange rates.

In the U.K., ASDA experienced strong sales and higher customer traffic in the January period, as the company's price advantage drove sales in core food and grocery categories. General merchandise and apparel sales also were ahead of expectations despite a toughening economic environment. Pets, household and automotive performed particularly well.

Wal-Mart de Mexico will announce its comparable store sales for the January period after the close of the Mexican stock market later today. These results will be posted on the Wal-Mart de Mexico Web site at www.walmartmexico.com.mx.

At Wal-Mart Canada, despite a challenging consumer marketplace, total sales during the period were strong and increased in the high single digits. Comparable store sales were in the low single digits, driven by an average ticket increase and growth in food, consumables and electronics.

In Brazil , real comparable store sales were in the low single digits. This performance was negatively impacted by the Carnival holiday, which occurred last January, but does not occur until the February period this year. Hypermarkets in the southeast and supermarkets in the south led the January sales performance.

Comparable store sales in Japan were positive, driven by further customer recognition of the shift to every day low pricing in food and consumables. Sales in general merchandise and apparel continued to be soft due to the general downturn in the economy.

In China , comparable store sales at Wal-Mart and Trust-Mart were in the low double digits primarily due to the early Chinese New Year holiday. Average ticket and traffic were higher.


Beginning with this fiscal year, which started Feb. 1 , the company will move from providing a monthly estimate of the next period's U.S. comparable store sales to an estimate for the next 13-week period, based on the 4-5-4 NRF calendar. The company will release an estimate for the next 13-week period on May 7 , Aug. 6 and Nov. 5, 2009 , when it reports the close of the previous 13-week period.

Wal-Mart will continue to report monthly comparable results on the 4-5-4 calendar.

"Rather than providing monthly guidance 12 times a year, we will provide 13-week guidance four times a year, based on the NRF retail calendar," said Tom Schoewe , executive vice president and chief financial officer. "We believe this guidance is a more appropriate measure for our investors, particularly in volatile times when consumer swings are more difficult to predict. This is more consistent with the long-term view we take on our business.

"We expect U.S. comparable sales without fuel during the period from January 31 through May 1 to increase between one and three percent," Schoewe said. "The shift of Easter from March to April this year will affect comparable store sales results for the March and April periods.

"Because our value proposition is so relevant to our customers and members, we believe our underlying business around the world will remain very healthy," Schoewe added.

The company will report comparable store sales for the February period, from Saturday, Jan. 31 through Friday, Feb. 27, 2009 on March 5 .

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Walmart discount stores, supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam's Club locations in the United States . The company also operates in Argentina , Brazil , Canada , Chile , China , Costa Rica , El Salvador , Guatemala , Honduras , India , Japan , Mexico , Nicaragua , Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom . 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 www.walmartstores.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com and www.samsclub.com.

This release contains statements that Wal-Mart believes are "forward-looking statements" 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 for total net sales for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2009 , our management's expectations for our comparable store sales without fuel in the United States for the period from January 31, 2009 through May 1, 2009 , and management's belief that our underlying business around the world will remain very healthy. Those statements are identified by use of the words "expects", "expect" or the phrase "will remain" in the statements. Those 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 statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.


SOURCE Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.



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 , +1-479-277-0212, all of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Web Site: www.walmartstores.com