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Costco December net sales, comp sales rise

Costco currently operates 847 locations.

Costco Wholesale Corp.’s overall sales rose 7.7% in December even as its e-commerce comps declined as customers opted to shop more in-store.

The membership warehouse club retailer reported net sales of $23.80 billion for December (the five weeks to Jan.1), up from $22.24 billion in the year-ago period. 

Total company comparable sales in December rose 5.5% from a year ago, rising 6.2% in the United States and 4.7% in Canada. Other international comps rose 2.5%. E-commerce comps declined 6.4%.

Excluding the impact from changes in gasoline prices and foreign exchange, total comp sales in December rose 7.3% from a year ago, rising 6.4% in the United States and 10.9% in Canada. Other international comps were up 9.1%. E-commerce comps fell 5.4%.

For the 18 weeks ended January 1, Costco reported net sales of $82.16 billion, up 7.6% from $76.34 billion last year. Total company comparable sales during the period rose 6.1%, rising 8.1% in the United States and 3.1% in Canada.  E-commerce comps declined 4.8.%

Excluding the impacts from gasoline sales and currency impacts, total comps during the 18-week period rose 7.1%. E-commerce sales fell 3.4%.

Costco plans to open a total of 24 new stores in its current fiscal year, including 15 in the U.S., CFO Richard Galanti said on the company’s first-quarter earnings call in December. The chain’s nine international openings include its third and fourth clubs in China.

Costco is also adding more warehouse space. It has 27 openings planned for the year, with three relocations and 24 new locations. The retailer opened seven net new warehouses in its first quarter, including four in the U.S., and one in Korea. It also opened its first-ever warehouses in New Zealand and Sweden. Capital expenditures for the year are expected to fall somewhere in the $3.8 billion to $4.0 range.

Costco currently operates 847 warehouses, including 583 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 107 in Canada, 40 in Mexico, 31 in Japan, 29 in the United Kingdom, 18 in Korea, 14 in Taiwan, 14 in Australia, four in Spain, two each in France and China, and one each in Iceland, New Zealand and Sweden. Costco also operates e-commerce sites in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Australia.

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