Costco gets coronavirus sales bump as shoppers stockpile

As the coronavirus emerged, the warehouse retailer saw a surge in shoppers over the past five weeks

Costco, one of the essential retailers open during the coronavirus pandemic, had a sales spike during the last five weeks.

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TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
COSTCOSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION391.84+3.45+0.89%

The warehouse retailer, known for bulk packages of toilet paper, 72 pound cheese wheels and six-figure diamond rings, had sales jump 11.7 percent to $15.49 billion up from $13.87 billion last year.

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The stock has risen more than 7 percent month-to-date, compared to the S&P 500's 6.4 percent rise.

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Sales were "significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic," said David Sherwood of Costco's Investor Relations arm in a pre-recorded call released on Wednesday.

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The standout categories were food, including meat, produce and frozen items, Sherwood added.

Underperformers included tires, sporting goods and lawn care.

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The regions that saw specific strength included Texas, the Northeast and the Midwest. Taiwan, the United Kingdom and Australia led sales internationally. There was no mention of China on the call where Costco has one store.

Costco, like other retailers, including Kroger and Walmart, took steps to protect the public against the coronavirus while staying open for shoppers to buy essentials but instituting limitations on hours and store capacity.

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