Costco posts 19.1% increase in U.S. sales in March

Costco Wholesale ended the first quarter of the calendar year in March with its third consecutive month of double-digit net and comparable sales gains.

For the five weeks ended April 3, net sales jumped 18.7% to $21.61 billion from $18.21 billion in the five-week period a year earlier, when sales were up 17.6%, Costco said yesterday after the market closed. The warehouse club chain noted that the retail reporting month of March 2022 had an additional shopping day compared to a year ago due to the change in the Easter calendar, which increased net sales and comp of 1.5% to 2%.

Company-wide comparable club sales increased 17.2% in March and 12.2% excluding changes in fuel prices and foreign exchange (FX), versus comp sales growth of 16% a year ago (11.1% excluding fuel and FX).

By business unit, March offset sales were up 19.1% in the U.S. (12.7% excluding fuel and FX), 15.7% in Canada (12.2% excluding fuel and FX) and 8.4% internationally (10.1% excluding fuel and FX), Costco reported. .

The March results built on the pace of growth in February, when Costco posted increases of 15.9% in net sales and 14% in model sales, the latter including growth of 17.4% in the States. -United.

E-commerce sales rose 8.9% like-for-like in March and 9.2% excluding currency. This compares to a 10.2% rise in February (10.4% adjusted) and a 57.7% jump in March 2021 (54.5% adjusted).

“Our compensation traffic, or frequency, for March increased 8.2% globally and 7% in the United States,” said David Sherwood, assistant vice president of finance and investor relations at Costco. , in a telephone report Wednesday evening. “Globally, the average trade for March was up 8.3%, which includes the benefit of gasoline inflation and the negative impact of FX.”

Exchange rates against the U.S. dollar had a negative impact of 0.7% on net and comparable sales for the entire company, of which 0.6% in Canada and 4.7% in other markets international, according to Sherwood. “Gasoline price inflation had a positive impact on total reported model sales of approximately 5.7%,” he said. “The average worldwide selling price per gallon has increased by 46% this year.”

The U.S. regions and markets that saw the best comp sales performance in March were San Diego, the Midwest and the San Francisco Bay Area, Sherwood reported, while the best international comp sales results were been led by Australia, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

“Let’s move on to merchandise highlights,” Sherwood said in an overview of comp category sales results (excluding FX), “food and sundries were positive in the low to mid-teens. Candy, frozen and sundries were the strongest departments Fresh food was up single digits, top performing departments included catering and bakery Non-food were up mid single digits The best performing departments included Toys, Tires, Automotive and Jewelry Ancillary business sales increased in the mid-1950s Gasoline, Food Court, Drugstore and Travel increased were the most successful.

Issaquah, Wash.-based Costco currently operates 829 total warehouse clubs, up from 807 a year ago. By market, the retailer operates 573 clubs in the United States and Puerto Rico, 105 in Canada, 40 in Mexico, 30 in Japan, 29 in the United Kingdom, 16 in Korea, 14 in Taiwan, 13 in Australia, four in Spain , two each in France and China, and one in Iceland. Costco also operates e-commerce sites in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Mexico, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and Australia.

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