BENTONVILLE, Ark., Dec. 4 -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) reported net sales for the four- and 43-week periods ending Nov. 28, 2008, and Nov. 30, 2007, respectively, as follows (dollars in billions).
Net Sales 4 Weeks Ended Percent 43 Weeks Ended Percent 11/28/2008 11/30/2007 Change 11/28/2008 11/30/2007 Change Walmart U.S. $21.477 $20.165 6.5% $204.962 $192.347 6.6% Sam's Club 3.672 3.620 1.4% 38.554 36.160 6.6% International 7.064 7.933 -11.0% 80.634 72.849 10.7% Total Company $32.213 $31.718 1.6% $324.150 $301.356 7.6%
The sharp strengthening of the U.S. dollar against most currencies in the four-week period, compared to the same period last year, reduced Wal-Mart International's reported U.S. dollar sales by 18.7 percentage points. On a constant currency basis, total International sales increased by 7.7 percent over the prior year four-week period. Constant currency sales are calculated as the current period's local currency sales translated into U.S. dollars at the exchange rate in effect for the comparable prior year period.
Comparable store sales for the four- and 43-week periods ending Nov. 28, 2008, and Nov. 30, 2007, respectively, appear below.
Four Weeks Comparable Store Sales Without Fuel With Fuel Fuel Impact 11/28/2008 11/30/2007 11/28/2008 11/30/2007 11/28/2008 11/30/2007 Walmart U.S. 3.4% 1.0% 3.4% 1.0% 0.0% 0.0% Sam's Club 3.5% 4.3% 0.5% 7.1% -3.0% 2.8% Total U.S. 3.4% 1.5% 3.0% 1.9% -0.4% 0.4% Forty-three Weeks Comparable Store Sales Without Fuel With Fuel Fuel Impact 11/28/2008 11/30/2007 11/28/2008 11/30/2007 11/28/2008 11/30/2007 Walmart U.S. 2.9% 0.8% 2.9% 0.8% 0.0% 0.0% Sam's Club 3.5% 4.8% 5.8% 5.0% 2.3% 0.2% Total U.S. 3.0% 1.4% 3.4% 1.4% 0.4% 0.0%
"Our sales news is overshadowed by the tragic incident at our Valley Stream, New York store on November 28. We consider Mr. Jdimytai Damour part of the extended Wal-Mart family and are saddened by his death," said Eduardo Castro-Wright, vice chairman, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Sales for Walmart U.S. during the November four-week period exceeded expectations. Comparable store sales rose on the strength of positive traffic and increases in average ticket. As gas prices dropped, shopping trips increased and customers had more discretionary income to spend at Walmart.
Aggressive rollback initiatives helped kick off solid sales for the month, with Thanksgiving helping to drive record grocery sales. The period culminated with strong sales on Black Friday. Customers responded to new merchandising programs and sales trends improved in home, apparel and electronics.
"Even in a tighter economy, consumers want to celebrate the holidays with their families," Castro-Wright said. "They recognize that Walmart is the best destination to help them save money."
For the November period, fresh food, dry grocery and consumables drove strong comparable club sales. Jewelry, seasonal and home-related products were softer. Traffic, excluding fuel, drove the comparable club sales figure for the period.
"Our gift catalog, Taste of Sam's event and our members only Black Friday event generated additional traffic and sales," said Doug McMillon, Sam's Club president and chief executive officer. "Our club associates did a terrific job of planning and executing our events throughout the month. In addition, many of our clubs completed category adjacency changes that improved the flow of the clubs for a better shopping experience and we're pleased with the impact of that change."
Fuel prices dropped significantly in the period versus the prior year. Deflation in fuel prices lowered Sam's Club's comparable sales result by 3.0 percentage points. Excluding fuel sales, Sam's comparable club sales increased by 3.5 percent.
Despite the economy, sales remained strong on a constant currency basis, confirming that our customers need every day low prices in these difficult times," said Mike Duke, vice chairman, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Sales from each country are covered on a constant currency basis, excluding any impact from changes in exchange rates.
In the United Kingdom, ASDA delivered another month of strong sales, with continued growth in market share. Core food categories continued to perform well. ASDA opened seven new stores in the period, more than in any period in the last three years.
The economic slowdown continued to impact sales at Wal-Mart de Mexico, though sales benefited from strong customer traffic as the company aggressively reinforced its price position. Yesterday, the company reported a comparable store sales increase of 1.6 percent in nominal terms for the November period. The strongest performance came from Bodega Aurrera, with continued weakness in the discretionary spending formats, Suburbia and Vips.
At Wal-Mart Canada, comparable store sales were slightly negative because an unseasonably warm October last year pushed seasonal sales into last year's November period, making it the strongest month of that year. Despite this comparison, Wal-Mart Canada continued to outperform the market.
In Brazil, strong general merchandise sales in supermarkets in the south and soft discount stores in the northeast generated a mid single digit real comparable store sales increase. The Maxxi cash-and-carry stores continued their recent strong performance with good results in electronics.
At Seiyu in Japan, comparable store sales increased in the low single digits. Food and consumables sales were higher, driven by strong traction of the shift to every day low pricing in key categories. Apparel and general merchandise sales were lower, but improved from prior months due to focused marketing efforts.
Higher average ticket and customer count contributed to a comparable store sales increase in the mid single digits at Wal-Mart China and in the high single digits at Trust-Mart.
"Providing sales guidance is difficult given today's external economic environment," said Tom Schoewe, executive vice president and chief financial officer. "Having said that, we expect comparable store sales for the December five-week period to be near the high end of our previously stated fourth quarter guidance of one to three percent."
The December period runs from Saturday, Nov. 29 through Friday, Jan. 2, 2009.
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 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. That forward-looking statement relates to our management's expectations for our comparable store sales in the United States for the December five-week reporting period to end January 2, 2009. That statement is identified by use of the word "expect" in the statement. That 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- 12/04/2008 /CONTACT: Media Relations, John Simley, +1-479-277-0212; or Investor Relations, Recorded Sales Message, +1-479-273-8446, or Carol Schumacher, +1-479-277-1498, or Mike Beckstead, +1-479-277-9558, all of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc./ /Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070927/WALMARTCOMLOGO AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org PRN Photo Desk, email@example.com/ /Web site: http://www.walmartstores.com / (WMT) CO: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. ST: Arkansas IN: REA SUP SU: SLS ERP SH-SW -- LATH029 -- 5682 12/04/2008 07:51 EST http://www.prnewswire.com