The company said Thursday that sales at its stores open for at least one year, a key metric, increased 9.1% during its previous quarter compared with the same period last year.
Sales at Costco in February were up 12.4% from a year ago. The company attributed around 3% of that to “an uptick in consumer demand” from concerns over coronavirus.
“Members are turning to us for a variety of items associated with preparing for and dealing with a virus,” Costco CFO Richard Galanti told analysts on a call. These items include dry grocery items, cleaning supplies, Clorox and bleach, water, paper goods, hand sanitizers, sanitizing wipes, disinfectants, health and beauty aids.
“It’s been a little crazy this past week in terms of outside shopping frequency and sales levels,” he added.
“As consumers prioritize a dwindling number of trips to stores, [Costco] will likely be at the top of the list,” UBS analyst Michael Lasser said in a note to clients Wednesday. “Over the long-term, we think the stock-ups will help accelerate [Costco’s] share gains.”