The coronavirus pandemic continues to bring both online and in-person shoppers to Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST). The big retailer released its latest set of monthly sales statistics on Wednesday, and they showed that business is still climbing at double-digit rates.
For October, Costco's net sales came in at $11.92 billion, up by just under 16% from the same month of 2019. That was on the back of comparable-store sales that increased by 14.4% overall. This was driven in turn by 91% growth in e-commerce sales.
The company's store count is now up to 800, with 556 in the U.S., 102 in Canada, 39 in Mexico, and modest numbers in other countries. Despite that, the outlets outside the U.S. and Canada took the prize for highest comps of the month, improving by 19.6% against the American stores' 13.6% and Canada's 13.9%.
Costco's business has held up extremely well in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. What helps is the "one-stop shopping" advantage of its warehouse outlets, where customers can obtain a wide range of goods they need for the many extra hours they're staying at home. The retailer's competitive prices also play well in an environment of economic uncertainty, as many people either have lost their jobs or are fearful they soon will.
The company has also done an admirable job encouraging its members to shop online. Again, this is in tune with our current situation, with many people reluctant to wade through crowds for fear of contracting the coronavirus.
Costco shares did well on Thursday, closing 2.4% higher, against the nearly 2% increase of the S&P 500 index.