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Costco Continues to Report Strong Monthly Comps

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Aug. 3 2017, Updated 1:42 p.m. ET

July comps rose 6.2%

Costco (COST) continues to report impressive monthly comps, or comparable-store sales, despite the challenging retail landscape and heightened competition from mass merchandisers including Walmart (WMT) and Target (TGT) and online rivals like Amazon (AMZN). The company’s continued investment in price and vast offerings resulted in higher store traffic, which supports its comps growth.

Costco’s comps rose 6.2% for the four-week period ending on July 30. Costco’s comps rose 6.0% in the US (SPY), while its comps rose 7.2 % and 6.3% in Canada and other international locations, respectively.

Excluding the impact of currency movements and changes in gas prices, the company’s comps rose 5.3%. The US, Canada, and other international markets reported comps growth of 5.5%, 4.0%, and 5.9%, respectively.

Costco’s July 2017 comps data show a strong rebound compared to the same period last year. In July 2016, Costco’s comps fell 2%, while it rose 1% excluding the impact of currency and gasoline.

Notably, the company’s net sales grew 8.8% YoY (year-over-year) to $9.41 billion in July 2017.

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Factors driving Costco’s impressive sales

Costco continues to outshine its peers in terms of sales growth. The company’s unique membership-only warehouse model, investment in price, focus on enhancing consumers’ shopping experience, and vast offerings continue to attract shoppers.

Costco’s strong comps are evident through the company’s improved store traffic and higher average transaction size, primarily in the US. In contrast, other retailers are struggling to lift their sales. A slowdown in consumption and increased competition are taking a toll on their performance. Walmart managed to drive its store traffic in the US through store remodels, value pricing, and fresh offerings.

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