Costco July Comps Hit By Price Fluctuations

For July, Costco Wholesale Corp. posted a comparable store sales gain of 1% without the impact of foreign exchange rate and fuel price fluctuations.

In the United States, comps were flat, while those for Canada were up 6% and those for other international markets were up 2%. With foreign exchange rate and fuel price fluctuations included, U.S. comps slipped 3%, Canada comps were up 3% and other international comps were down 2% for a company total of down 2%.

Total sales were $8.65 billion versus $8.64 billion in July of last year.

July 2015 included an extra selling day, which negatively impacted total and comparable sales in the month this year by 2.5 percentage points overall and 3.5 percentage points in the U.S., the company said in a conference call.

Comp traffic was up .75%, the company said. With the extra selling day factored in, comparable store traffic was up 3.3% overall and 3.5% in the U.S. The top selling regions in the U.S. were Texas, Midwest and Southeast.

Among merchandise categories, excluding the effect of foreign exchange but including the effect of the extra shopping day in July 2015, softlines were up low single digits with jewelry, small appliances, kiosk and special events coming in as the strongest segments.

Hardlines comps were up low to mid single digits with hardware, sporting goods and health and beauty aids the strongest segments. Electronics were positive low to mid single digits with TV units up low double digits while dollars increased low single digits due to deflation.

Costco currently operates 708 warehouses, including 496 in the United States.