August Sales Surpass July's Performance
Costco Wholesale continues to see positive growth in same-store sales, with an even stronger performance in August compared to July. The company reported a 3.4% increase in sales at stores open for at least a year, surpassing the 2.5% growth seen in July. When accounting for changes in gasoline prices and foreign-exchange fluctuations, same-store sales rose by a remarkable 4.1%.
Net sales also experienced substantial growth, jumping 5% from the previous year to reach an impressive $18.42 billion. This increase was, in part, driven by an increase in customer foot traffic, with global comparable-store foot traffic rising by 5.2%.
While the United States saw the lowest growth in same-store sales, with a modest 2.8% increase from the previous year, Costco's other international markets fared exceptionally well. Same-store sales in Canada rose by 3%, and across other international markets, the growth reached an impressive 7.3%.
The shift in consumer behavior due to higher inflation and interest rates is evident in Costco's sales data. Consumers are cutting back on discretionary purchases, leading to better performance in essential categories. Food and sundries were among the strongest categories, while sales of sporting goods, home furnishings, and gardening supplies underperformed.
In the e-commerce segment, which tends to focus on discretionary purchases, sales experienced a decline of 2.5%.
Despite the mixed performance, shares of Costco showed a slight increase of 0.3% to $543.63 in after-hours trading on Wednesday. Overall, Costco's stock has gained 19% this year, slightly outperforming the 18% rise of the S&P 500.