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Costco: Modest July Slowdown

Thomas Paulson
Aug 5, 2022
Costco: Modest July Slowdown

Key Costco Metrics

Last month, we had a hunch that Costco’s traffic and sales were soon to decelerate as the juice from higher gas prices ran low. That seems to be the case with the July report. Other factors that may be at work is that many of its affluent customers are off on international vacations and it is also lapping two years of splurging on staycations and nesting.

  • U.S. transactions (adjusted) decelerated to +4.1% versus +6.5% in June and +6.1% in May.
  • Ticket (excluding gas) was approximately +4.2% higher compared to +4.2% in June. On a three-year basis, U.S. ticket was +23% vs. +26% in June.
  • By category, fresh food was up +3-4% versus high-single-digit growth in June and May. Food and sundries grew by a low-double-digit clip versus midteens in June. Non-foods growth came in +3-4% vs. double-digit growth in June and May.
  • As a reminder, Costco's reported comparable sales results include transactions from both inside the clubs and at its gas stations (though the company adjusts for the impact of gas prices in its figures). We've presented year-to-date visitation trends for both Costco's warehouses and gas stations to help CRE executives better connect Placer.ai's visitation data to the reported figures. Costco gas stations have seen higher visitation growth, which helps to explain why the company is experiencing positive transaction growth despite seeing YoY declines in warehouse visits (which is partly the result of tougher YoY comparisons).  

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Thomas Paulson

Director of Research and Business Development, Placer.ai

Thomas Paulson spent 20 years as a Wall Street analyst and a member of asset management teams at AllianceBernstein and Cornerstone Capital, representing top-50 ownership positions including Target, Home Depot, Nike, Amazon, Google, and many more.

He brings consumer related expertise and knowledge of enterprises in retail, CPG, financial services, telecom, and entertainment.

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