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Costco Sees Sales Boost Amid Brick-and-Mortar Focus

Costco, the big-box membership retail store, has seen its sales continuously rise throughout the holiday season, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

The news is especially noteworthy because unlike its competitors like Walmart and Target, Costco has actually reduced spending on its eCommerce offerings, something that has been a revenue bright spot for other companies.

The company instead encourages its shoppers to actually come into its stores, saying that its sales growth is robust enough without an order online, pick up in-store option.

“As it relates to buy online and pick up in-store, we continue to look at what others do and continue to scratch our head,” said Financial Officer Richard Galanti. “We’re not at a point that we’re planning to do anything with that.”

The company’s comparable sales, which include locations or digital operations that have been in business for at least a year, went up 5 percent through the quarter that ended Nov. 24.

The store was only slightly impacted by the six fewer shopping days this season, and sales were reduced by half a percentage point.

Profits went up and net income was $844 in the most recent quarter, which is up from $767 million in the same period in 2018. The company’s shares are at $1.90 each, which is up from $1.73 last year.

The company’s eCommerce numbers were down due to Thanksgiving being later this year, but without the later date, the sales would have grown about 18 percent, according to Galanti. The retailer’s eCommerce sales were up 21.9 percent in the previous quarter.

Costco’s website was impacted by the high traffic during Thanksgiving, and some users had checkout issues. “It was unfortunate … despite all the efforts to have plenty of capacity,” Galanti said.

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