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Costco November Comps Boost First Quarter

For the 12-week first quarter ended November 24, Costco Wholesale Corp. posted net sales of $24.47 billion, an increase of 5% from the prior-year period. Excluding the impact of gasoline price volatility and foreign exchange rates, comparable store sales increased 4% in the United States, 6% internationally and 5% company wide.

For the fiscal month of November, Costco net sales came in at $8.78 billion, up 5% from the period last year, the company announced. Comps were up 3% in the U.S., 6% in international markets and 4% company wide, it noted.

As regards merchandising categories, a Costco representative, in a conference call, stated that the retailer’s Softlines comps gained in the mid to high single digit range with small appliances, domestics and apparel the strongest segments. Hardlines comps slipped in the mid single digits with auto and office performing well but consumer electronics, lawn and garden and seasonal all down. Food and Sundries comps gained in the low to mid single digit range while Fresh Food advanced in the high single digits, the spokesperson related.

Costco operates 648 warehouse clubs including 461 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, 87 in Canada, 33 in Mexico, 25 in the United Kingdom, 18 in Japan, 10 in Taiwan, nine in Korea and five in Australia, according to the company. Costco also operates e-commerce web sites in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Mexico.