Costco sees sales gain in March

Wholesaler reports boost

ISSAQUAH, Wsh. — Costco experienced a 17% increase in its monthly sales ended April 3, totaling nearly $7.2 billion.

Costco was positively impacted by the calendar shift; the company's five-week period for March included 35 days this year, compared with 34 days last year. The wholesale retailer noted the comparable-store sales saw an 11% boost. Excluding such effects as inflation in gasoline prices and strengthening foreign currencies, which had a positive impact on comparable sales, Costco said comps would have increased 7%.

Costco noted that its five-week period included sales from the company's Mexico joint venture. The company began consolidating its Mexico operations on a prospective basis beginning with its 2011 fiscal year. Excluding sales from its Mexico joint venture, Costco's net sales increase would have been 14%.

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