Costco Comps Soft In January

For the fiscal month of January, Costco Wholesale Corp. reported that comparable store sales, excluding the impact of foreign exchange rate and fuel price fluctuations, increased 1% in the United States, 11% in Canada and 10% in other international locations for a company total of 4%.

With foreign and exchange and gas impact included, comps in the U.S. gained 1%, those in Canada dropped 6% and those in other international markets were flat for an overall company flat reading in the metric.

Overall, Costco said net sales were $8.32 billion for the month of January, an increase of 2% from $8.15 billion during the similar period last year.

From a geographic perspective, the company related in a conference call, Costco saw the best comparable store sales results, without foreign exchange rate and fuel effect, in the Midwest, San Diego and Texas.

As for product segments, softlines comps gained in the mid single digits with men’s and women’s apparel, and domestics strong. Hardlines comps were up in the low to mid single digit range with electronics slightly positive despite the fact that, this year, the Super Bowl plays at the end of February’s first week. Food and sundries comps were up in the low single digits and fresh food comps were up in the mid single digits.

The company noted that weather and a change in the Super Bowl date negatively effected January results.

Costco currently operates 698 warehouses, including 488 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 90 in Canada, 36 in Mexico, 27 in the United Kingdom, 24 in Japan, 12 in Korea, 11 in Taiwan, eight in Australia and two in Spain.