Of the companies reporting monthly same-store sales, Costco Wholesale’s 8 percent gain for November not only put it ahead of other discounters, but the results also made it the top performer across the entire retail sector.
The performance reiterated at least one analyst’s bullish outlook on the wholesale club retailer and followed an analysis from another researcher that revealed Costco as a price winner versus Amazon Inc.
Gordon Haskett analyst Chuck Grom said using generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) measures, Costco’s comparable-store sales rose 250 basis point year-over-year to show a 10 percent gain, which is “well ahead of the trailing 12-month average of 8.1 percent and best in 30 months.”
Grom noted that digital sales, “while not a needle-mover yet, digital rose 39 percent — up significantly from the August-October average of 29 percent.” In soft-line product categories, home goods, apparel and jewelry were top performers, the analyst said, adding that “while the narrative around Costco has taken a hit post Amazon-Whole Foods deal, we remain adamant in our view that the team from Issaquah has one of the best moats in retail.”
A separate report from research analyst Mike Brown from LendEdu, which is a lender that offers consumers student loan refinancing and consolidation, said the “ability to save the consumer money has driven the astronomical success for both Costco and Amazon, but which saves you more money?”
To find out, Brown and his team analyzed 38 key items between the two retail brands, excluding apparel. The results found that if “all 38 items were purchased at the exact same time, buying off Amazon would be 12.10 percent more expensive than shopping at a physical Costco store.”
Brown noted that “on average, Amazon items were 56.48 percent more expensive than the identical items at the Costco store.” And said the “most narrow price difference was with technology products, and Beats 3 wireless earphones were actually 21.12 percent cheaper on Amazon.”
The analyst said in the report that both by average price difference and total price difference, “the widest price discrepancy favoring Costco Wholesale came from food and beverage products.”
Brown said on average, the food and beverage products “from Amazon were 120.15 percent more expensive when compared to the same goods at Costco. The total price of all the food and beverage products from Amazon was 95.82 percent more expensive than at Costco.”
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