Helped by improved demand for general merchandise and food, BJ’s Wholesale Club (NYSE:BJ) reported a stronger-than-expected gain in November sales, sending its shares higher intraday.
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The Natick, Mass-based wholesaler posted sales for the four weeks ended Nov. 27 of $900.1 million, up 8% from $833.6 million in the same period last year.
Comparable club sales last month were up 5%, helped by a 1.2% contribution from gasoline sales. Excluding the gas sales, sales were up 3.8%, still higher than club sales of 1% in the year-earlier period.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had been expected on average sales growth of stores open at least a year of 3.9%.
Sales were led in its food and general merchandise categories, up 4% and 3%, respectively, lifted in part by higher demand for candy, cheese, dairy, deli, household chemicals, housewares, meat, trash bags and small appliances.