Another Month of Double-Digit Sales for Costco
The cadence of sales started to moderate at Costco in August, but the warehouse retailer still managed to post stunning physical and digital comps.
Costco Wholesale said that same-store sales in its U.S. physical stores (excluding fuel and exchange rate fluctuations) increased in August by 14.3%. The comp was a deceleration from July's 15.7% increase.
In a pre-recorded August sales update, Assistant VP, Financial Planning and Investor Relations David Sherwood said that the club retailer had "positive 3.1% customer traffic" in August.
At the same time, e-commerce sales increased in August by 101.6%. The e-commerce figure was an acceleration from July's increase of 75.3%.
Net sales were $13.5 billion for the retail month of August, the four weeks ended Aug. 30, an increase of 15% from $11.79 billion last year. For the 16-week fourth quarter ended Aug. 30, the company reported net sales of $52.3 billion, an increase of 12.7% compared with net sales of $46.4 billion during the similar period last year. For the 52-week fiscal year ended Aug. 30, the company reported net sales of $163.2 billion, an increase of 9.2% from the $149.4 billion during the similar period last year.
According to Sherwood, the strongest departments in August were food and sundries, which had comps in the positive high teens, with frozen food, liquor and cooler being the strongest subcategories. Fresh food comps were up in the positive low 20s (meat and produce). Hard-line comps were in the positive high 20s (appliances, garden, sporting goods).
The strongest regions for Costco in August were the Southeast, Texas and Northeast.
Issaquah, Wash.-based Costco operates 787 warehouses worldwide, including 543 in the United States and Puerto Rico. The company, which is No. 5 on Progressive Grocer’s 2020 PG 100 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, also has e-commerce sites in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Korea and Taiwan.