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Costco posts strong monthly sales — again

Costco Wholesale Corp.’s pandemic sales surge continued in September amid skyrocketing e-commerce growth.

The membership warehouse club’s net sales for the month of September (the five weeks ended Oct. 5) rose 16.9% to $16.84 billion, from $14.41 billion in the year-ago period.

Total company comparable sales rose 15.5%. Excluding the impacts from changes in gasoline prices and foreign exchange, total comp sales rose 16.9%. E-commerce comp sales jumped 90.3%. 

Costco said its September sales were positively impacted by two holiday shifts, Labor Day in the U.S. and Chuseok/Moon Festival in Asia. The estimated positive impact on September sales was slightly less than 100 basis points worldwide, half relating to each holiday.

Costco currently operates 796 warehouses, including 552 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 102 in Canada, 39 in Mexico, 29 in the United Kingdom, 27 in Japan, 16 in Korea, 13 in Taiwan, 12 in Australia, three in Spain, and one each in Iceland, France, and China.

Costco reported September revenue of $16.84 billion, up 16.9% from the same month a year ago. That growth is an increase from strong quarterly results the membership-based warehouse retailer shared last month, when net sales grew 12.5%.

Same-store sales also managed to top strong previous results, rising 15.5% as shoppers continue to stock up during the COVID-19 pandemic. Costco produced the best quarterly same-store sales growth on record, 11.4%, in the most recently completed quarter. Costco reported monthly gains of 13.2% in each of the previous two months, but September benefited from the shift of Labor Day weekend in the U.S. and the Moon Festival in Asia into the month this year.

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