BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Sales gains in food and consumables at Wal-Mart helped the retailer here endure soft sales of discretionary items, the company said in a review of monthly sales Wednesday. Wal-Mart reported overall same-store sales gains of 2.4% for the five weeks ended Oct. 3, with sales of food at its Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club divisions leading the way. Other retailers reporting sales Wednesday described a rough consumer environment, including Target, Minneapolis, which said comparable-store sales fell by 3% in September. Club stores reported stronger results, with Issaquah, Wash.-based Costco posting a 7% monthly comp gain and BJ’s Wholesale Club, Natick, Mass., posting 5.6% comps, excluding fuel, behind respective gains in food sales.
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