Costco comps up 6% at U.S. clubs

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — The nation’s leading warehouse club operator maintained its momentum in November by posting a 6% increase in same-store sales at U.S. clubs, excluding the beneficial effect of higher year-over-year gas prices.

If the favorable effect of fuel prices, which averaged $3.44 this year, compared with $2.85 last year, are included, then the U.S. comp figure rose 9%. International comps also rose 9%, but were negatively affected during the month by a somewhat stronger U.S. dollar. International comps, excluding the impact of currency fluctuations increased 11%.

Total company sales for the four-week period ended Nov. 27 increased 11% to $7.5 billion from nearly $6.8 billion last year. Sales for the 13-week period, which closely aligns with the company’s first-quarter period ended Nov. 20, increased 12% to $23.1 billion, compared with nearly $20.6 billion in the year-ago period. First-quarter financial results are scheduled for release next week on Dec. 8.

As for Costco’s November performance, the company noted that Texas, California and the Midwest were its strongest performing regions and also highlighted an interested development in the consumer electronics category.

Other categories highlighted include food and sundries and softlines where the company said it experienced a high single digit comp increase.

Costco ended the period with a total of 596 clubs globally, including 433 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 82 in Canada, 32 in Mexico, 22 in the United Kingdom, nine in Japan, eight in Taiwan, seven in Korea and three in Australia. Before year end, Costco said it will open two additional units in Japan.

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