A year ago Costco Wholesale Corporation continued to generate strong epidemic-driven profits as sales growth in April exceeded 30%.
For the four weeks ended May 2, net sales were up 33.5% to $ 15.21 billion, from $ 11.39 billion a year earlier, Costco said yesterday. In the 35-week year to date, the warehouse club retailer has increased its net sales to $ 126.58 billion, an increase of 17.6% from $ 107.64 billion in the previous year.
Comparable-club sales during the April sales period were up 32.5% overall and up 24.2% excluding the impact of changes in fuel prices and foreign exchange (FX) rates. By commercial unit, Gump sales rose 30.4% in the United States (24.9% excluding fuel and FX), 44% in Canada (23.8% excluding Fuel and FX) and 33.5% internationally (excluding Fuel and FX 20.3%).
Costco’s April e-commerce sales grew by 20.5% on a comparable basis and by 17.3% excluding FX.
Monthly results since April 2020 represent a major improvement, with Costco falling 1.8% in net sales and 4.7% in comp-store sales, including a 3.3% comp-sales decline (flat except for fuel and FX). At the time, the company said home stay orders, social remote controls and some forced closures had reduced traffic and sales at clubs. Business was also negatively affected by limited service in the travel and food courts; Closure of most optical, auditory and photographic fields; And lower volume and price inflation in fuel sales.
The four-week April retail month of this year had an extra shopping day than last year due to the change in the Easter calendar. This has resulted in a whopping 2.5% increase in total and comparable sales and traffic, ”said David Sherwood, assistant vice president of finance and investor relations at Costco, in a conference call late Wednesday.
“Average turnover in April was down 1.1%, including 480 basis points from petrol inflation and the FX350 basis point,” he said, adding that the average fuel selling price was up 57% to $ 3.02 a year from 92 1.92 a year earlier.
Among the major sales categories in Comp sales, “Food and Sundries were positive high single digits. Tobacco, sundries and candy were strong sectors, ”Sherwood said. “The new foods were more single digits; the best performing sectors were service tele and bakery. Nonfoods were positive in the upper 40s. The best performing sectors included jewelry, clothing and home decor. Auxiliary business sales were over 100%. Gas, hearing aids and Optical were all significant drivers. ”Comp-selling results exclude the positive impact of FX.
Sherwood said the U.S. regions and markets that will release strong sales results in April are Southeast, Los Angeles and the Midwest, while internationally Mexico, Japan and the United Kingdom had strong performance.
Costco closed its April retail period with a total of 809 warehouse clubs, up from 787 a year earlier. Depending on the market, the retailer operates in the United States and Puerto Rico, 105 in Canada, 39 in Mexico, 29 in the United Kingdom, 29 in Japan, 16 in Korea, 14 in Taiwan, 12 in Australia, three in Spain and one club each in Iceland, France and China. Costco operates e-commerce sites in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Australia.