Costco October Comps Gain, Impacted By Gas And Foreign Exchange

For the four-week fiscal month of October, Costco Wholesale Corp. posted comparable store sales, without the effects of gasoline price and foreign exchange rate volatility, up 4% in the United States, 10% in Canada and 4% in other international markets for a company total of 5%.

With fuel and foreign exchange effects figured in, Costco reported, U.S. comps advanced 1% while those in Canada decreased 8% and other international markets decreased 6% for a company total of negative 1%.

Traffic was up about 2.8% for the month but average transaction was down 4%. The transaction figure would be positive 2.5% if the impact of gas and foriegn exchange was subtracted, Costco noted.

On a geographic basis, the midwest and California had the strongest comps in the U.S., Costco maintained in a conference call. In terms of merchandising categories, softlines, including home categories, gained in the mid single digits with women’s apparel, media and domestics coming in as the strongest segments. Hardlines comps advanced in the low single digits with garden, sporting goods and office supplies strong but consumer electronics down in the mid single digit range. Food and sundries comps increased in the mid single digit range as did those for fresh food.

Net sales were $8.78 billion versus $8.73 billion during October 2014.

Costco operates 690 warehouse clubs including 482 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, 90 in Canada, 36 in Mexico, 27 in the United Kingdom, 23 in Japan, 12 in Korea, 11 in Taiwan, seven in Australia and two in Spain. The retailer stated that it plans to open up to nine additional clubs before the end of calendar year 2015. Costco operates e-commerce web sites in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the U.K.