Costco Starts To Feel The Pinch As Sales Fall In April
In April Costco Wholesale recorded the first fall in monthly sales in over a decade, with the company stating they were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, stay-at-home orders, social distancing restrictions and some mandatory closures. In the US sales were down 3.3%, in Canada they fell by 11.7% and at Costco’s other international locations sales contracted by 4.6%.
In March Costco’s sales at international locations were up 12.2%, likely driven by COVID-19 panic-buying. At the Costco warehouse in Casula, located in Sydney’s south-west, the police had to be called to help control the massive lines in mid-March. Demand has evidently tapered off since then.
In recent years Costco has been ramping up its operations in Australia, and currently operates 12 warehouses across the country.
Just this year Costco began offering online shopping to its Australian members, though the company has warned customers that they may experience some delays in online deliveries and home services have been reduced due to COVID-19.
While its stores in Australia remain open, the Costco food courts are only offering takeaway, the Costco Optical and Hearing Aid Centres have temporarily reduced services, and warehouses have implemented social distancing measures.
Costco membership in Australia costs $60 per year, which allows members to enter a Costco store and bring up to two guests with them.