NEW YORK –
CE was a drag on otherwise strong
sales at Target and Costco last month, as consumer
attention turned outdoors.
Target said warm weather and an early Easter
helped spur a 7.9 percent increase in net sales to
$6.4 billion in March, and boosted comp-store sales
7.3, compared with last year’s 5.5 percent decline.
CE’s contribution was minimal, the discounter reported,
with electronics comps trailing all other categories
within its hardlines sector.
At Costco, net sales rose 10 percent to $9.1 billion
in March, and U.S. comps increased 5 percent
excluding the contribution of gasoline sales. Like
Target, the warehouse club realized the results despite
softness in CE. The category “continued to be
negative,” Costco reported, with mid-single-digit