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Membership renewal rates for $COST remained flat during 1Q18 when compared to 4Q17. Renewal rates were 90% in the U.S. and Canada and 87.2% worldwide. CFO Richard Galanti said, “We feel very good about our renewal rates and so far so good on what we've felt the impact of the credit cards switch and auto bill.”
Costco’s membership fee revenue grew 10% YoY to $692MM during the first quarter of 2018. In FY17, $COST’s Gold Star and Executive membership fee increase brought in approx. $23MM in membership fee revenue and expects to have a positive impact on the membership fee revenue by approx. $175MM in FY18.
$COST reported 13% hike in sales for the month of Nov., which includes the recently concluded Thanksgiving, Black Friday and holiday weekend sales. With online sales continue to dominate the brick-and-mortar sales in Thanksgiving weekend holiday sales, Costco’s comp sales grew 10.8% and E-commerce saw a sales increase of 39% during Nov.
During the Thanksgiving weekend, a large number of consumers turned to their smartphones and computer screens for their shopping needs. Amazon, as expected, gobbled up a lion's share of the online transactions. Lets take a look at the other retailers that made a killing last weekend. $TGT $WMT $AMZN $KSS $M $COST $BBY $GME $HD $LOW
Although it is really late to enter the e-commerce club, $COST has rolled out two new e-commerce initiatives - two-day (dry grocery) and same-day delivery (both dry and fresh grocery) last week. With $AMZN’s acquisition of $WFM set to shake the grocery industry, the warehouse club Costco is looking to expand the grocery offerings over time.
$COST, which is aggressively expanding its operations internationally, said its 2017 sales grew 9% to $126.1Bil. As of Sept. 2017, Costco had 741 warehouses worldwide with over 227 warehouse stores abroad. Notably, Wall Street analysts envisage that $COST will open its first Brick-and-Mortar store in China, which is having a huge retail market size. (nearly $5 trillion)
Despite the change in consumer behavior towards online shopping, $COST, which is focusing on attracting more customers to its stores, reported a steady growth in 4Q17. Profit grew 18% to $919MM. $COST, which increased the annual membership fee for Gold Star and Executive members in June 2017, saw membership revenue growth of 13% in 4Q17.
$COST's diamond ring story - Following $TIF ruling over Costco for selling 2,500 fake "Tiffany" rings, Costco said that it plans to appeal the ruling that it "is a product of multiple errors in pretrial, trial, and post-trial rulings." This legal battle was ongoing since Valentine's Day 2013 and the current settlement charge is expected to be about $19.4MM.
Hamilton James has been elected as the Chairman of $COST BoD. He is President and COO of The Blackstone Group and a member of the BoD of its general partner Blackstone Group Management. James has been a Director of Costco Wholesale since Aug 1988 and was its Lead Independent Director since 2005.
$COST reported net sales for the month of July 2017 of $9.41Bil, an increase of 8.8% from $8.65Bil in the previous year quarter. Comparable sales for the month grew 6.2%. For the 48-week ended July 30, 2017, net sales increased 6.1% to $113.7Bil and comparable sales rose 3.8%.
$COST’s net sales increased 7% annually to $12.17Bil in June. Comparable store sales grew 6.5% during the month in the US and 3.2% in Canada. Other International comparable store sales were higher by 6.2% compared to June 2016. In the 44 weeks ended July 2, total sales advanced 6% from the year-ago period.