Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) said Thursday that April same-store sales declined more than previously expected at 3.5 percent due to weather conditions, and an earlier Easter.
The firm reported that Wal-Mart sales dropped by 4.6 percent, while the companyâ€™s Samâ€™s Club division saw a 2.5 percent increase. The overall results came in short of the companyâ€™s estimate of a 2 percent decline in sales for April.
The firm said sales for grocery items were stronger than general merchandise. Sales in apparel were â€œsoftâ€ due to cold weather affecting traffic and seasonal merchandise. Pet supply sales were also down as several pet food makers recalled some items.
The firmâ€™s international sales were led by the United Kingdomâ€™s Asda stores. The firm said customer-focused initiatives drove traffic to stores and boosted food and general merchandise sales..
Looking ahead May, the company expects same-store sales to rise 1 to 2 percent for the four week reporting period from May 5 to June 1.
For the second quarter of fiscal year 2008, the retailer expects sales to rise 1 to 2 percent.
Overall net sales for the month rose 3.7 percent to $26.57 billion.
The company will announce its first quarter earnings on May 15.
Share of Wal-Mart dropped 53 cents, or 1.11 percent, to $47.40 in pre-market trading.