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A happy holiday for home at Walmart

Wal MartBentonville, Ark. - Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s fourth quarter profit tumbled and overall sales fell short of the mark, but home was a winner at both Walmart U.S. stores and Sam's Club, the company said in announcing its results this morning.
Bill Simon, president and ceo of Walmart U.S., said NPD data showed the chain gained market share in home during the fourth quarter and credited holiday for most of the momentum.

The home business at Walmart U.S. generated a low single-digit positive comp during the fourth quarter, he added. Leading categories included bath, bedding, cooking and dining, each of which produced positive comps in the mid-single-digit range.

"National brands such as Calphalon, Farberware, Keurig, and SodaStream also drove traffic and sales growth in home," said Simon.

At Sam's Club, home delivered a mid-single-digit comp. Rosalind Brewer, Sam's president and ceo, said the home gallery vignette that set immediately after Christmas turned in a strong performance.
"Over the past year, we have worked to sharpen our merchandising focus around price, bulk, quality and excitement, with very positive results," she noted. "Our home and apparel categories have done exceptionally well, as our merchants brought in new, exciting merchandise that really resonated with our members."

For the fourth quarter ended Jan. 4, consolidated net income dropped 21.0% to $4.4 billion, or $1.34 per share. Total revenue rose 1.5% to $129.7 billion. Consolidated net sales were up 1.4% to $128.8 billion.

Excluding fuel, same-store sales slipped 0.4% overall, with comps down 0.4% at Walmart U.S. and 0.1% at Sam's Club.

Full fiscal year net income declined 5.7% to $16.0 billion, or $4.85 per share. Total revenue increased 1.6% to $476.3 billion. Consolidated net sales were also up 1.6% to $473.1 billion.

Excluding fuel, same-store sales for the fiscal year fell 0.4% overall, with comps down 0.6% at Walmart U.S. Sam's Club comps inched up 0.7% for the year.

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