Wal-Mart's Sam's Club Launches New Furniture Collection - Analyst Blog

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Sam's Club, a subsidiary of retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. ( WMT ), has introduced an exclusive furniture collection called The Black Mountain Collection, designed by author Nicholas Sparks.

The Black Mountain Collection consists of six exquisite pieces of fine furniture each of which is inspired by Sparks' latest book, The Longest Ride (2013), and the upcoming movie based on this novel. The collection gets its name from the movie, which is set in Black Mountain town in North Carolina. The furniture designs give the feel of rolling hills and natural surroundings of Black Mountain.

The Black Mountain Collection comprises a Writing Desk, Plush Chair and Ottoman, a Storage Cabinet, a Bookcase, a Leather Office Chair and a Wooden Trunk. All the five pieces except Leather Office Chair will be available online at SamsClub.com and in all U.S. Sam's Club locations, whereas The Leather Office Chair will be available in-club only.

Nicholas Sparks is a best-selling novelist, screenwriter and producer. His books have been New York Times bestsellers, with more than 100 million copies sold worldwide and in more than 50 languages. The Black Mountain furniture collection will not only contribute to his career as an artist, but will also offer style and versatility in the Sam's Club product line.

Sam's Club pulled in $12.7 billion in sales during its third-quarter fiscal 2015, up 2.3% from the prior-year quarter, excluding fuel impact. Sam's Club comps, excluding the impact of fuel sales, increased 0.4% versus an increase of 1.1% in the prior-year quarter. Comp sales were in line with the company's expectations of being slightly positive in the third quarter. Sam's Club comp traffic was up 0.2%, while average ticket increased 0.2%. E-commerce sales positively impacted comp sales by approximately 0.2% in the quarter.

Despite an improvement in U.S and Sam's Club comps and international operations, the company narrowed its guidance for fiscal 2015 during the third-quarter conference call, as it expects to invest more in the e-commerce business and in Sam's Club. The company also expects higher U.S. health care costs and tax rates to hurt profits in fiscal 2015. Not only this, currency headwinds, cut in food stamps and sluggish economic environment are likely to hurt the top line in the upcoming quarters. (Read: Wal-Mart's Q3 Earnings In Line, Sales Beat; View Narrowed ).

Currently, Wal-Mart holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better ranked retailers include Ingles Markets, Incorporated ( IMKTA ), Safeway, Inc. ( SWY ) and The Kroger Co. ( KR ). While Ingles Markets sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Safeway and Kroger hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks
Referenced Symbols: WMT , KR , IMKTA

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