Costco sells $7B in clothing a year, surpassing some apparel retailers: report

Costco isn’t just the place to get groceries in bulk -- it’s also become a popular spot to buy clothes.

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Despite the absence of fitting rooms and window displays, the membership-based chain sells more than $7 billion a year in clothing and footwear sales, which is more than apparel retailers such as Old Navy or Ralph Lauren, The Washington Post reported.

Even though people are turning more to online shopping, most of Costco’s business continues to happen in-store, with apparel sales increasing about 9 percent every year since 2015, according to the outlet.

What helps is that the chain sells brands such as Calvin Klein, Birkenstock and Tommy Hilfiger -- as well as Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand -- at lower prices than other stores, The Post reported.

“Costco has quietly become an apparel destination,” a retail analyst for Instinet told The Post. “It is clearly resonating with shoppers and winning over brands at the expense of department stores.”

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
COSTCOSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION299.97-1.11-0.37%
GPSGAP17.86+0.50+2.88%
RLRALPH LAUREN CORP98.60+2.13+2.21%

But apparel isn’t the only area where Costco is making impressive sales. Jewelry is another category where the retailer has been successful.

In May, Costco revealed it sold a $400,000 diamond ring at one of its stores.

The sale was significant for the chain, which is known for its discount prices. Currently, Costco lists nearly 470 diamond rings on its website. The highest priced is a round platinum solitaire ring listed for $419,999. The second highest diamond ring is $280,000 cheaper.

During an earnings call with investors in May, Galanti said the purchase helped boost sales for the quarter.

"Sales highlights for the quarter included some significant diamond repurchases one in the $400,000 range and big-ticket items like golf simulators that sold for $14,000 each which we sold during the fine pay period," Galanti explained on the call.

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In March, Gap Inc. announced it will separate Old Navy into its own publicly-traded company and create a new, currently unnamed firm to house the remaining brands in its portfolio, including Gap and Banana Republic.

The move – announced as part of its fourth-quarter earnings – will better position the San Francisco-based company to “leverage the power of our brands,” CEO Art Peck said at the time.

Peck will serve as CEO of the new Gap entity, while current Old Navy CEO Sonia Syngal will lead the spun-off firm.

Gap will also close 230 stores across the country over the next two years, a decision expected to cost roughly $625 million, as well as some Banana Republic stores. Among the brick-and-mortar locations that will be shuttered are some of its flagship properties, company executives said.

FOX Business’ Jennifer Earl and Joe Williams contributed to this report.