Two Puget Sound-based retail powerhouses, Issaquah’s Costco Wholesale Corp. and Seattle’s Nordstrom, today reported healthy increases in same store sales in March.
Those results, say analysts, are another sign that customers are shopping again as they gain confidence that the world economy is healing. Wall Street is expecting overall retail sales to have jumped 6.2 percent in March.
Luxury clothing retailer Nordstrom said its same-store sales rose 16.8 percent last month compared with the same month in 2009.
Costco, the nation’s largest warehouse retailer, said same store sales jumped 10 percent propelled largely by sales in foreign stores though sales in U.S. stores increased 5 percent. Analysts had predicted a 9.3 percent rise.
Overall sales at Nordstrom sales rose 20.9 percent including newly-opened stores. Nordstrom opened four new stores in March, one full-line stores and three Nordstrom Rack discount stores.
Those results brought Nordstrom sales for the five-week period ending April 3 to $815 million compared with $674 million for the same period last year.
At Costco, total company sales including new stores rose from $6.4 billion in March last year to $7.14 billion this year. That 12 percent increase came despite the fact that the reporting period was one day shorter this year. Had that period been the same length, sales would have been an additional 1 percent to 2 percent more, the company said.
Part of Costco’s overall increase was due to higher gasoline prices and stronger foreign currencies. Costco operates 567 stores, 414 of which are located in the United States and Puerto Rico. Seventy-seven are in Canada. Twenty-one are in the United Kingdom, seven in Korea, six in Taiwan, nine in Japan, one in Australia and 32 in Mexico.
Nordstrom operates 190 stores in 28 states.