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Costco’s CE Sales Softened In January

Issaquah, Wash. – Costco said CE comp sales fell by the mid- to high-single digits in January amid gains in other product categories.

Results for the four-week period, ended Feb. 2, encompassed the Super Bowl TV sales cycle, and continued a nearly year-long trend for Costco’s CE business.

In a research note, Janney Montgomery Scott retail analyst David Strasser attributed the softness to an “extremely competitive and promotional” CE marketplace.

In contrast, the No. 1 wholesale club reported a 6 percent increase in net sales, to $7.5 billion, and a 5 percent gain in U.S. comps on strength in small appliances and housewares, among other categories.

Traffic was up 4.5 percent for the month despite extreme wintry weather across much of the country, and average transaction size slipped 0.5 percent, Costco said.

The strongest-performing markets in January included San Diego, the Southwest and the Midwest, the company reported.