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Costco (COST) Continues to Witness Stellar Sales & Comps

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Costco Wholesale Corporation’s (COST - Free Report) growth strategies, better price management, decent membership trends and increasing penetration of e-commerce business have been contributing to its upbeat performance. Cumulatively, these factors have been aiding this Issaquah, WA-based company in registering impressive sales numbers.

We also note that shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have advanced approximately 24.7% in the past three months compared with the industry’s rally of 14.9%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Rising Sales

Costco’s strategy to sell products at discounted prices has helped draw customers, who have been seeking both value and convenience amid the ongoing crisis. Markedly, the company’s net sales increased 24.2% to $15.59 billion during four weeks ended May 30, 2021 from $12.55 billion in the last year. This followed an improvement of 33.5% and 17.6% in the months of April and March, respectively.

Given the current scenario, people have been shopping more at discount stores for essentials and other discretionary purchases. Quite obviously, Costco has emerged as viable option for them. The company’s differentiated product range resonates well with customers’ spending habits.


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Scoring High on Comps

Remarkably, Costco’s comparable sales for the month of May rose 22.8%. This followed an increase of 32.5% and 16% in the months of April and March, respectively. The monthly comparable sales reflect an improvement of 21.9%, 28.8% and 21.5% in the United States, Canada and Other International locations, respectively.

Excluding the impacts from change in gasoline prices and foreign exchange, comparable sales for the month under discussion rose 14.7% on an improvement of 16.7%, 8.9% and 9.6% in the United States, Canada and Other International locations, respectively.

Management informed that this year’s May retail month had one additional shopping day when compared with the last year owing to the calendar shift of Memorial Day. This favorably impacted sales by about two to two and one-half percent.

Online Sales: A Key Catalyst

Undoubtedly, Costco has been rapidly adopting the omni-channel mantra to provide a seamless shopping experience, whether online or at stores. We note that e-commerce comparable sales rose 12.1% during the month of May. This followed an increase of 20.5% and 57.7% in the months of April and March, respectively. Costco operates e-commerce sites in the United States, Canada, the U.K., Mexico, Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Australia.

Wrapping Up

Costco continues to be one of the dominant warehouse retailers based on the expanse and quality of merchandise offered. It is also focused on ramping up investments in the wake of rising competition from the likes of Dollar Tree (DLTR - Free Report) , Dollar General (DG - Free Report) and Target (TGT - Free Report) . We believe that the company’s business model and commitment toward opening membership warehouses will continue to drive traffic.

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