Walmart makes progress in home during a soft quarter
Staff Staff -- Home Textiles Today, August 15, 2013
Bentonville, Ark. - Although sales fell below expectations for Walmart U.S. during the second quarter, the home department generated a low single-digit positive comp, executives said during the company's quarterly update this morning.
The relatively good performance in soft lines helped contribute to Walmart's gross margin mix, according to Bill Simon, president and ceo of Walmart U.S. "Our bath and bedding category also improved consistently throughout the quarter, finishing the period with a low single-digit positive comp," he said.
At Sam's Club, home and apparel rebounded from the first quarter, generating a high-single-digit comp during the second quarter.
"Home continues to be strong, as price leadership in domestics drove double-digit comp and unit growth," said Rosalind Brewer, Sam's president and ceo.
Sam's is making a shift in its merchandise strategy to emphasize brands, especially in home and apparel, she said. Sam's, she added, is "striving to be a house of brands for our members. This transformation will continue, especially as we enter the holiday season."
For the quarter ended July 31, consolidated operating income rose 1.4% to $6.8 billion. Walmart U.S. grew operating income by 5.2%, and Sam's Club grew operating income, excluding fuel, by 8.0%.
Total sales for the quarter were up 2.4% to $116.2 billion.
Sales at Walmart US rose 2.1% to $68.7 billion, with comps slipping 0.3%, excluding fuel.
Sales at Sam's Club increased 2.6% to $14.5 billion, with comps up 1.7%, excluding fuel.
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