Sales surged at Costco during the retailer’s second quarter and the month of February. The warehouse club operater pointed to consumer coronavirus concerns as part of the reason for the strong sales growth.
Net sales for the retailer’s second quarter increased 10.5%, to $38.26 billion from $34.63 billion last year. Comparable sales for the second quarter were 9.1% in the U.S.; 8.9% in Canada; and 7.9% in the international division. Total company comparable sales were 8.9%.
Due to Thanksgiving occurring a week later this year, for the quarter total and comparable sales were positively impacted by approximately one-half percent; and e-commerce sales were positively impacted by an estimated 11 percentage points.
Reported net income for the quarter was $931 million, or $2.10 per diluted share, compared to $889 million, or $2.01 per diluted share, last year.
For the four-week reporting month of February, ended March 1, 2020, the company reported net sales of $12.20 billion, an increase of 13.8% from $10.72 billion last year. Comparable sales for February were 12.4% in the U.S.; 10.2% in Canada; and 12.5% in the international division. Total company comparable sales were 12.1%.
February sales benefited from an uptick in consumer demand in the fourth week of the reporting period. Costco said it attributes this to concerns over the coronavirus and estimates the positive impact on total and comparable sales to be approximately 3%.