Sam’s Club is refreshing its food business with on-trend products and categories. The wholesale club, which is a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., expanded its selection of “healthy, on-the-go and exciting” items and delivered positive low-single digit comparable sales for its food and beverage segments during Walmart’s third quarter.
“We have significantly expanded our organic portfolio this quarter and plan to more than double it by the end of next year,” said Roz Brewer, president and chief executive officer of Sam’s Club, during a recent call with financial analysts to discuss third-quarter performance. “Other new items, such as chia seeds, breakfast bars and squeezable fruit pouches hit on key trends… and members have responded.”
Elsewhere in Sam’s Club’s food categories, inflation in dairy and meat remained, prompting members to shift to chicken and ground beef, and produce results were mixed, due to a stone fruit recall, deflation in potatoes, and weather-related headwinds.
Sam’s Club operates 643 locations in the United States and Puerto Rico. Net sales at Sam’s Club grew 2.3% to $12.7 billion during the quarter, and comparable sales rose 0.4% with balanced growth in traffic and ticket. Membership and other income grew 9.9%.
Sam’s Club’s performance was one of several bright spots for Wal-Mart during the quarter, but the retail giant acknowledged more work is needed to deliver stronger sales growth and strengthen bottom-line performance overall.