While much of the retail news has been focused on online sales, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, one retailer that depends primarily on brick-and-mortar shoppers simply blistered sales in November. Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) posted a global same-store sales gain of 10.8% year over year. Excluding gasoline sales and currency exchange effects, same-store sales rose 7.9% year over year.
Total monthly sales rose 13.2% year over year to $11.26 billion, and global foot traffic was up an impressive 5.5%.
U.S. same-store sales rose 10.2% overall and 8.4% excluding gasoline sales. U.S. foot traffic rose 5.9%.
According to Retail Metrics, the same-store sales jump is Costco’s largest in more than six years. In September 2011, the company posted a same-store sales gain of 12%.
Costco’s nascent online sales efforts rose 39% on improved merchandise selection, website navigation and delivery times.
Retail Metrics noted strong growth across most merchandise categories:
Hardline comps rose an impressive low-teens with mid-teens gains in appliances, tablets and computers. The company also noted strength in auto, tires, sporting goods and office. Softlines gained high single digits with strength in jewelry, apparel and domestics. Food & sundries comps gained mid-to-high single digits with strength in cooler, candy & tobacco. Fresh food posted MSD growth in November with strength across bakery, deli, and meat.
Other firms that still report monthly same-store sales did not fare as well. L Brands saw a 1% drop and the firm’s Victoria’s Secret stores posted a decline of 6%. Specialty apparel retailer Cato turned in a drop of 8% and teen apparel retailer Buckle posted a drop of nearly 4%.
Costco stock traded up about 3.5% Thursday morning to $183.83, after posting a new 52-week high of $184.58 earlier in the morning. The stock’s 12-month consensus price target is $178.85.