ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco Wholesale Corp. said foot traffic was up in its fourth quarter, and average tickets were bigger as the warehouse club’s members cope with inflation.
Net sales increased 15.2% to $72.7 billion in the 16-week quarter ended August 28. Comparable-store sales rose nearly 14%, and digital sales were up 7.1%.
For the full year, net sales increased 16% to $222.7 billion. Comps increased 15.8% in the United States and 14.4% companywide. Of Costco’s 838 warehouses, 578 are in the United States and Puerto Rico.
Grocery sales were up 20% from the year-earlier quarter, as shoppers increasingly recognize the value mass and club stores offer in uncertain times, chief financial officer Richard Galanti said on an earnings call with investors.
Costco ended the fiscal year with 65.8 million paid household members and 118.9 million cardholders, both up 6.5% from a year earlier, Galanti said.
“In terms of renewal rates, we again hit all-time highs,” he said. “At Q4 end, our U.S. and Canada renewal rate came in at 92.6%.”
Costco is not now planning to raise membership fees, he said. “We’re pleased with our growth in both top-line sales and membership households over the last several quarters, and member loyalty is reflected in increasing member renewal rates.”