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Costco same-store sales up in January but e-commerce sales tumble

Costco Wholesale Corp.’s sales rose in January even with the shifting of a holiday.

Costco Wholesale Corp.’s sales rose in January even with the shifting of a holiday.

The membership warehouse club retailer reported net sales of $16.84 billion for January (the four weeks ended January 29, 2023), an increase of 6.9% from $15.76 billion in the year-ago period.

Total company comparable sales rose 5.6%, and were up 6.6% in the United States and 2.4% in Canada. Other international comps rose 3.9%. Excluding the impacts from changes in gasoline prices and foreign exchange, total comp sales rose 7.4%.

E-commerce comparable sales fell 15.4%. In December, Costco’s e-commerce sales declined 6.4%.

For the 22 weeks ended January 29, 2023, the company reported net sales of $99.00 billion, an increase of 7.5% from $92.10 billion last year. Total comparable sales rose 6%, with a 7.8% increase in the U.S., and a 3% rise in Canada. Other international comps fell 0.2%. E-commerce comp sales are down 6.4% for the period.

Costco noted that the Lunar New Year/Chinese New Year holiday occurred on January 22, 10 days earlier this year. The shift negatively impacted the retailer’s other international and total company sales by approximately 2% and 0.25%, respectively.

In December, Costco revealed plans to open a total of 24 new stores in its current fiscal year, including 15 in the U.S.  The company is also adding more warehouse space. It has 27 openings planned for the year, with three relocations and 24 new locations.

Costco currently operates 848 warehouses, including 584 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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