Wal-Mart to Test Smaller Grocery Format
Bentonville, Ark. Wal-Mart Stores announced Monday it will open a new, smaller-size grocery-store concept in the Phoenix area. The announcement comes after British retailer Tesco Plc opened its first U.S. stores last fall, in the Los Angeles area, followed by locations in the Las Vegas and Phoenix markets.
The new Wal-Mart outlets, to be called Marketside, will be about 20,000 sq. ft., roughly half the size of the discounter’s Neighborhood Market grocery stores and twice the size of the Fresh & Easy markets, according to London’s Financial Times. A Wal-Mart spokesman said the retailer is always testing new ideas and declined to say if the new format would be rolled out in more locations.
Books-A-Million holiday sales up 5.3%
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. Books-A-Million Thursday announced 5.3% increase in sales for the holiday period.
The company reported that sales for the nine weeks ended Jan. 5 were $130.8 million compared with $124.2 million for the same period last year. Comparable-store sales for the period were flat compared with the same period last year.
Commenting on the results, Sandra Cochran, president and ceo, said, “The sales environment for the holiday season proved challenging as we confronted softening economic conditions and a value conscious consumer. Nonetheless, we saw good results in a number of our core book categories as well as strong performances in bargain books and the gift department.”
Macy’s Inc. Nov.-Dec. comps down 1.1%
CINCINNATI Macy’s Inc. Thursday reported total sales of $4.6 billion for the five weeks ended Jan. 5, a decrease of 7.4 % compared to total sales of $5 billion in the five weeks ended Dec. 30, 2006.
The company reported that on a same-store basis, Macy’s Inc. sales were down 7.9% in December. According to the company, this is below guidance for December same-store sales to be down between 4% and 7%.
For the November-December period combined, Macy’s Inc.’s same-store sales were down 1.1%.
“Given the calendar shift between November and December, we noted previously that the two-month holiday selling period needed to be viewed together rather than each month individually,” said Terry Lundgren, Macy’s Inc. chairman, president and ceo. “After a strong November, we had hoped that a more positive sales trend would continue through December. But macroeconomic trends led customers to spend cautiously for the holiday. That said, we remain on track to be within our guidance for same-store sales in the fourth quarter, albeit at the low end of the range of down 2% to up 1%.”
The company expects January same-store sales to be down by 4% to 6% compared with last year.