ISSAQUAH, Wash. -- Costco Wholesale Corp. here said last week food and sundries are helping keep sales up at a time consumers are holding back at other warehouse clubs.
chief financial officer, said during a conference call reviewing Costco's financial results for the second quarter and first half ended Feb. 18.
Sales increased 7.4% to $8.3 billion for the 12-week quarter and 8.5% to $15.7 billion for the half, while net income fell 2.8% to $176.6 million for the quarter and 1.6% to $306.1 million for the half.
Comparable warehouse sales rose 2% for the quarter and 3% for the year to date.
Galanti said comparable sales for food and sundries rose 3% and fresh food comps were up 9%, while hardlines and softlines fell 6% and 2%, respectively, and ancillary businesses, including gasoline, increased 16% during the quarter (5% excluding gas).
He said the strong increase in fresh foods was a result of globally sourcing produce, "so we have more items on a regular basis instead of only on a seasonal basis."
Galanti also said Costco is in the process of selling two pieces of property in Manhattan where it decided not to open stores because of zoning problems and negative resident reaction.