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Costco Beats Estimates as Shoppers Flock Back to Brick and Mortar Store

Costco beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue and profit on Thursday. Consumers returning to its stores bought more groceries and splurged on high-margin items such as jewelry and home furnishing goods. Costco sales rely on customers seeking a treasure-hunt shopping experience at its cavernous warehouses, have benefited following the rollout of vaccines and the easing of COVID-19 curbs.

Even with the reopening of restaurants and outdoor eateries, consumers have retained pandemic-induced cooking habits and eating more at home, bolstering sales at retailers including Costco and Kroger Co. In recent months, there has been strong demand for high-margin items as social events and travel have resumed, boosting sales at retailers.

The company said it was still pressured by container delays, labor and freight costs, and chip shortages, impacting deliveries. Comparable sales jumped 11.1% in the second quarter, compared with Refinitiv IBES estimates of an 8.74% rise. Total revenue rose 16% to $51.90 billion in the second quarter from a year ago. Analysts had expected $51.47 billion.Amazon raised its Prime membership rate for new members effective Feb. 18. For current Prime members, the new price will apply after March 25 on the date of their next renewal.

The last time Amazon raised membership fees was in 2018. Costco currently has two types of members: Gold Star membership and Executive membership.  The Gold Star membership costs $60 per year and includes two cards per household, and gives you access to all clubs worldwide as well as  online. The Executive membership costs $120, and the main difference is that you can earn 2% back on all qualifying purchases up to $1,000 a year and savings on vacations booked through Costco Travel.

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