Costco Posts Strong December Sales Gains

For the five weeks of its fiscal December, Costco posted comparable store sales gains, excluding the effects of gasoline price volatility and foreign exchange rate fluctuation, of 5% in the United States and 7% internationally, for a total of 5%. Net sales gained 6% to $11.53 billion for the five weeks ended January 5 versus December a year ago.

In a conference call, a Costco representative said that the Southeast, Midwest and Texas regions reported the best results. By category, comparable store sales in Softlines were up in the mid to high single digit range, the spokesperson said, with small appliances, home furnishing, domestics and apparel particularly strong. Hardlines comps gained in the mid single digit range, with garden and health and beauty aids among the superior selling segments. Food and Sundries advanced in the mid single digits and Fresh Food advanced in the mid to high single digit range.

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. Costco also operates E-commerce web sites in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and Mexico.