Costco Q1 buoyed by grocery strike

Hogsett, Don
December 2003
Home Textiles Today;12/15/2003, Vol. 25 Issue 15, p24
Trade Publication
Helped by a California grocery strike, which drove customers in its doors, as well as strong sales of big-ticket electronics, first quarter sales at Costco Wholesale Corp. jumped 14.4 percent, to $10.3 billion from $9 billion last year. Membership fees and other revenues brought in another $211.7 million, up 12.6 percent from $188 million last year. In a conference call with analysts and investors, Richard Galanti, cfo, said the grocery strike in California provided a big lift to Costco sales during the quarter, boosting same-store sales as much as a lull percentage point. In addition to stronger grocery sales, top-line growth was also fueled by brisk sales of consumer electronics, including big-screen televisions and digital cameras. At the same time, costs edged upwards by 10 basis points, or a tenth of a percentage point, to 10.0 percent from 9.9 percent last year Lending strength to the bottom line, the retailer slashed its store pre-opening costs by 44.3 percent during the period, to $10.1 million from $18.1 million last year, generating a savings of $8.0 million.


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