Costco's March same-store sales jump as coronavirus triggers surge in buying - Metro US

Costco’s March same-store sales jump as coronavirus triggers surge in buying

Customers queue to enter a Costco Wholesalers in Chingford, Britain

(Reuters) – Costco Wholesale Corp <COST.O> reported a 9.6% jump in March comparable sales, as customers stocked up on essentials to weather coronavirus-led lockdowns.

U.S. comparable sales rose 10.7% for five weeks ended April 5, while e-commerce sales surged 48.3%, Costco said in a statement.

“Costco’s March sales results reflect the impact of the various safety measures the company has put in place in reaction to the coronavirus,” Moody’s lead Costco analyst Charlie O’Shea said.

The company saw a 34.7% rise in traffic in the second week of March from a year earlier, just as Sam’s Club, Target Corp <TGT.N> and Walmart Inc <WMT.N> clocked double-digit jumps, according to foot traffic analytics company Placer.ai.

Costco, which currently operates 787 warehouses including 547 in the United States and Puerto Rico, also reported a 11.7% jump in March sales to $15.49 billion, compared with a year earlier.

The company said last month it was forced to place quantity limits on some products including bleach, bottled water and dry grocery items after it saw a big jump in sales due to the coronavirus crisis.

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Shinjini Ganguli)

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