Sales remained strong
Walmart’s (WMT) Sam’s Club once again posted healthy top-line growth, driven by the company’s multichannel offerings and focus on e-commerce. It marked positive comps (comparables) in the past seven quarters, with club pickup and direct-to-home business gaining traction.
Net sales at Sam’s Club came in at $13.6 billion (ex-fuel), a 3.2% rise YoY (year-over-year). Comps rose 2.8%, driven by a 3.6% rise in traffic, offset in part by an 0.8% decrease in average ticket size. Inflation in the food category supplemented comps growth by 70 basis points. Comps were also positively impacted by hurricane-related sales. In fiscal 3Q18, membership income rose 0.9%, while penetration increased 77 basis points. Net sales (including fuel) increased 4.4% to $14.9 billion in fiscal 3Q18, reflecting a 4% rise in comps.
Sales by category
Comps for the company’s fresh category rose in the mid-single digits, driven by strong growth in fresh meat, bakery, and produce. Sales for its grocery and beverage category increased in the low single digits, reflecting expanded offering and growth in the Member’s Mark penetration rate. Strong growth in Member’s Mark products drove mid-single-digit comps growth in the consumables category.
Home and apparel grew in the high single digits, driven by strong sales of tires, apparel, kitchen electronics, and home improvement products. Sales of seasonal categories remained healthy. The health and wellness category increased in the mid-single digits, reflecting improvement in nutrition and protein drinks. Tobacco sales grew marginally. A softness in sales of televisions and smartphones led to a low-single-digit decline in the technology, office, and entertainment category.
Going forward, management projects comps (ex-fuel) to rise 1.5%–2% in fiscal 4Q18.