Costco’s online sales increase 19% in Q3

June 1, 2016 12:37 PM

Offering more products for sale online paid off for Costco Wholesale Corp.

Chief financial officer Richard Galanti told analysts on Costco’s Q3 2016 earnings call that online sales grew 19% year over year during the quarter. Costco, No. 8 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, does not break out online sales in its quarterly earnings report, and Galanti did not provide a dollar figure. Costco’s 2015 web sales were $4.472 billion, up 19.6% from $3.738 billion in 2014, according to data.

“We have over the last couple of years expanded some of the categories in what we'll call velocity categories; some sundries items, some limited non-perishable food items, some apparel items—socks and underwear,” Galanti told analysts on the call, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha. “Those are small pieces [compared with] sales in furniture and exercise equipment and electronics.”

One thing Costco won’t be offering customers anytime soon, unlike some of its retail chain counterparts, is the ability to buy online and pick up in store

“We want to do everything possible to get them in the store and not just come and pick something up,” Galanti said. “We know that when you come in-store, you're going buy a lot more than when you shop online in general. I don't see (buy online, pick up in store) as being a strategic focus of ours, at least in the near term.”

For the fiscal third quarter ended May 8, Costco reported:

  • Net sales of $26.151 billion, up 2.5% from $25.517 billion last year.
  • Comparable store sales were flat.
  • Net income of $545 million, up 5.6% from $516 million.



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