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Costco’s October Sales Up Nearly 16 Pct. YOY

Costco Wholesale Corp. recently reported that its eCommerce sales spiked 90.6 percent in its fourth quarter.

The retail giant remains on a roll in October. Costco reported in a news release on Wednesday (Nov. 4) that it had “net sales of $13.8 billion for the retail month of October, the four weeks ended Nov. 1.” That’s up 15.9 percent from the $11.9 billion it posted last year in the same time period.

Costco said it now operates 800 warehouses internationally, including 556 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 102 in Canada and 39 in Mexico. The company also has a range of eCommerce sites in those countries and also in Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Australia.

Amid the pandemic, the company has benefited from the ballooning of online sales in general, said Richard A. Galanti, Costco’s executive vice president and chief financial officer.

In a call with analysts after Costco announced its fourth-quarter results, Galanti said “we’ve enjoyed strong sales results during the June, July and August timeframe.”

“As people are spending less on travel, air and hotel, and dining out, they seem to have redirected at least some of those dollars to categories like lawn and garden, furniture and mattresses, exercise equipment, bicycles, housewares, cookware … and the like,” Galanti said.

Nonetheless, Costco was hit by the COVID-19 crisis last spring. Some of the retailer’s ancillary businesses, particularly its optical and hearing aid operations, were shuttered for 12 to 16 weeks.

Costco said the company had membership fee income of $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter, concluding Aug. 30. For the full year, membership fees amounted to $3.5 billion.

The wholesale club also reported an increase in U.S. comparable sales of 11 percent, a rise in comparable Canada sales of 9.1 percent and a bump in other international comparable sales of 16.1 percent in the fourth quarter.

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