NEW YORK — Value-oriented retailers tended to fare better than competitors in monthly sales figures reported by U.S. retailers Thursday, although product price deflation and a late Labor Day holiday negatively affected their results as well, analysts said.
Among food retailers, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Natick, Mass., said comparable sales increased by 2.2% excluding gasoline, amid an overall sales decline of 1.9% during the four weeks that ended Aug. 30. Costco Wholesale, Issaquah, Wash., said its comps were flat over the same period, citing stronger sales of food but commodity price deflation. Target, Minneapolis, said traffic was flat and comps declined by 2.9% — its best monthly results in a year.
“It may be that Target’s sales woes have begun to trough, particularly given the easier comparisons coming over the next several months and the focus they have on the ‘pay less’ side of the business,” Leon Nicholas, director of retail insights for Management Ventures, Cambridge, Mass., said in a statement. Nicholas added that the results overall portended “sharp pricing battles” going into the holiday season.
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