Housewares Helps Costco Achieve Strong June Comp

Today, for fiscal June, a five-week period, Costco Wholesale Corp. reported a 10% net sales increase to $10.89 billion versus the same five-week period a year ago. With the effects of fuel and foreign currency exchange fluctuation excluded, comparable store sales in the United States gained 6%.

Comps for stores operating in international markets increased by 8%. For the company as a whole, comps advanced 6%.

As for regional comps, a company spokesman said in a conference call, the Southeast and Midwest had the strongest results.

By merchandising category, Softlines enjoyed comp gains in the mid to high single digit range, with jewelry, apparel and housewares producing the best results, he continued. In Hardlines, the sporting goods, lawn and garden, and healthy and beauty aids segments were the best performing in a category that advanced in mid single digits despite “flattish” results in consumer electronics. Food and Sundries reported comps up in the mid single digits while Fresh Food returned comp gains in the high single digits.

Costco operates 658 warehouses, including 465 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 87 in Canada, 33 in Mexico, 25 in the United Kingdom, 20 in Japan, 11 in Korea, 10 in Taiwan, six in Australia and one in Spain, according to the company. Costco noted that it plans to open up to an additional five new clubs prior to the end of its fiscal year on August 31. The company also operates E-commerce web sites in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and Mexico.