Costco Says Sales Rose 12% in December
By Maria Armental
Costco Wholesale Corp. reported better than expected sales
results for December as online shopping soared.
The warehouse chain reported net sales of $19.14 billion for the
five-week period ending Jan. 3, up 12.3% from a year earlier.
Comparable sales, a closely watched performance metric that
looks at sales at warehouse-club locations open for more than a
year, rose 10.7%. Excluding the impact from gasoline sales and
currency swings, core comparable sales rose 10.9%.
Analysts surveyed by Consensus Metrix expected a 10.1%
comparable-sales increase, or 11.2% when adjusted for gas sales and
The increase was driven by frozen foods, sundries and liquor
sales, despite lower frequency of sales world-wide because of
restrictions tied to the coronavirus pandemic, the company
David Sherwood, assistant vice president for financial planning
and investor relations, said in a prerecorded call that traffic
declined in Canada, Mexico and the U.K. but rose in the U.S.,
Costco's largest single market by number of warehouse locations.
The lower shopping frequency, however, was more than offset by
higher spending, with the average transaction world-wide rising
11.4% from the year-ago period, he said.
Costco, one of the companies that remained open during the
coronavirus pandemic because its services were deemed essential,
has largely fared well financially during the pandemic, offering
one-stop shopping for such things as food and appliances. Costco
operates 803 warehouses, including 558 in the United States and
The company said that e-commerce comparable sales rose 62.5% in
As Covid-19 cases increased around the country, shoppers
generally turned to online shopping. Shopper visits to physical
stores declined 33% for the six-week holiday period, according to
Sensormatic Solutions, which tracks footsteps with cameras in
stores. Sensormatic had projected that foot traffic would fall 22%
to 25% in the period.
Shares of Costco, up nearly 27% in the last 12 months, closed
down 1.5% on Wednesday at $370.02.
Write to Maria Armental at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 06, 2021 17:41 ET (22:41 GMT)
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