Costco May Results Get Boost From Small Appliances, Housewares

For the month of May, Costco Wholesale Corp. reported net sales of $8.78 billion for the month of May, up 8% from the year-ago period. With the fuel and foreign exchange rate fluctuations excluded, comparable store sales improved by 6% in the United States and those at international stores gained 7% for a company-wide increase by 6%.

In terms of regional results, Costco experienced the best comp results in the Southeast, the Midwest and the San Francisco Bay area, the company stated in a conference call.

As for merchandising categories, Softlines comps advanced in the low single digits led by small appliances, apparel and housewares. Hardlines increased in the low single digits with automotive, lawn and garden, and health and beauty aids leading but hardware and electronics in negative comp territory. Food & Sundries was up in the mid single digits, and Fresh Food gained in the high single digits, as related in the conference call.

Costco currently operates 657 warehouse clubs with 464 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. The company noted that it plans to open up to six new warehouse clubs prior to the end of its fiscal year on August 31. Costco also operates E-commerce websites in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and Mexico.