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 comp declines.