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March CE Sales Soft At Target, Costco

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.