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Costco’s sales grow 8.8% in July

BY Marianne Wilson

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco Wholesale Corp. turned in a winning performance in July, fueled by strong traffic trends.

The company reported that its net sales in July rose 8.8% to $9.41 billion, compared with $8.65 billion during the similar period last year. Total company same-store sales rose 6.2%, with a 6.0% increase in the United States. Excluding the impacts from changes in gasoline prices and foreign exchange, total same-store sales rose 5.3%, and 5.5% in the U.S.

For the 48 weeks ended July 30, Costco reported net sales of $113.70 billion, an increase of 6.1% from $107.16 billion during the similar period last year.

Costco currently operates 736 warehouses, including 511 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 97 in Canada, 37 in Mexico, 28 in the United Kingdom, 25 in Japan, 13 in Korea, 13 in Taiwan, eight in Australia, two in Spain, one in Iceland and one in France. Costco also operates electronic commerce websites in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Korea and Taiwan.

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Method partners with Oakland, Calif., nonprofit on limited-edition collection

BY David Salazar

SAN FRANCISCO — Method will be debuting a limited-edition product collection that showcases the work of artists from Creative Growth, an Oakland, Calif.-based nonprofit art center serving adults with disabilities.

The collection features work from four artists paired with four new fragrances inspired by their work — palm garden, jasmine lily, cedar spice and vanilla sky — and will be available exclusively at Target through the end of the year.

“At Method, we truly view cleaning as an act of creative expression,” said Doug Piwinski, CMO of People Against Dirty, a company made up of Method and Ecover. “Creative Growth's powerful and meaningful work has inspired us to produce a limited edition collection that celebrates these incredible artists, and enables us to bring their art — and their stories — to more people.”

The art was commissioned from Creative Growth artists Aurie Ramirez, Allan Lofberg, Maureen Clay and Barry Regan.

“Our mission is to understand how everyone is a part of the creative community,” said Tom di Maria, director of Creative Growth. “Our partnership with method is about valuing how our artists can be seen as contemporary designers, and how their art can enrich the everyday experience of people.”

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T.MONDRAGON says:
Aug-04-2017 10:15 am

It is so great to see method continue their amazing innovation. What a wonderful partnership with Creative Growth!

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With July sales, Fred’s shares best quarterly comps in past 4 quarters

BY David Salazar

MEMPSHIS, Tenn. — Fred’s on Thursday reported its July sales, as well as initial results from its fiscal second quarter, which included the best comparable-store sales the company has reported in the past four quarters. The company’s Q2 sales decreased 4.2% to $507.4 million, while comparable-store sales decreased 0.3%, compared with a 2% decrease in Q2 2016.

“While our financial results have been slower to materialize than we had anticipated, we are encouraged by our improving comparable store sales and strong performance in retail and specialty pharmacy,” Fred’s CEO Mike Bloom said. “Although slightly negative due to industry headwinds challenging the front store consumables category, our overall comparable sales for the second quarter represent the best quarterly performance in the trailing four quarters.”

The company attributed the decline in sales in Q2 to a shift from brand to generic scripts and its Q1 closure of 39 underperforming stores. It also noted that its comps saw a 0.8% negative impact from the sale of low productive discontinued inventory.

For July, Fred’s saw year-over-year sales decrease 3.5% to $150.5 million, which the company attributes mainly to the closure of underperforming stores. Comps for the month a 0.1% decrease, compared with a 4.6% decrease in July 2016. The month’s comps saw the 0.6% impact of the sale of low productive discontinued inventory that last July was not subject to.

Bloom said he remains optimistic about the company’s improvements coming as it continues its healthcare transformation. The company has touted this strategy as central to its goal of achieving operational profitability by year’s end. 

“Our improving sales trends and the strength of the pharmacy businesses demonstrate that our healthcare transformation strategy is working,” Bloom said. “We are confident in our ability to improve our financial performance and drive long-term growth and profitability, and look forward to sharing more details about our second quarter results in the coming weeks.”

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