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CE Boosts Costco’s Comps

Issaquah, Wash. — An ongoing rebound in Costco’s CE business helped offset lower fuel prices to boost the company’s October comps.

On a recorded call, finance and investor relations director David Sherwood cited CE among the warehouse club’s “better performing” hardlines categories last month.

The turnaround in the electronics aisles follows a string of consecutive CE comp declines throughout much of 2013.

October’s unspecified CE gains helped counter the effect of lower gasoline prices and unfavorable foreign exchange rates, to deliver a 4 percent comp increase company-wide.

Comps rose 6 percent in the U.S., and 7 percent in the U.S. and company-wide excluding the impact of fuel deflation and currency fluctuations.

Net sales also rose 7 percent for the month, to $8.7 billion, amid a 4.5 percent increase in traffic. But average transaction size remained flat as gasoline and currency took a 2.75 percent bite out of customer baskets.

The No. 1 warehouse club operates 470 locations in the U.S. and 196 offshore.