BUSINESS
12/04/2014 08:28 am ET Updated Feb 03, 2015

Costco Had A Great Month In November Despite Staying Closed On Thanksgiving

ASSOCIATED PRESS

ISSAQUAH, Wash. (AP) — Sales from the established stores of warehouse club operator Costco climbed 5 percent last month to top Wall Street expectations.

Analysts expected 3.7 percent growth, on average, according to Thomson Reuters.

The strong results come even though Costco stayed closed on Thanksgiving -- unlike many other retailers. Increasing competition for Black Friday shoppers has led many stores in recent years to start their holiday "doorbusters" a day early.

"Our employees work especially hard during the holiday season, and we simply believe that they deserve the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with their families," Paul Latham, a spokesman for Costco, told The Huffington Post last year.

The Issaquah, Washington, company said Thursday that same-store sales from its U.S. locations climbed 7 percent, while they fell 1 percent internationally.

Sales at stores open at least a year is a key gauge of a retailer's health because it excludes the volatility from stores recently opened or closed.

The company said the Midwest Southeast and San Diego areas led U.S. results. Mexico, Taiwan and Canada were strong internationally.

Excluding lower gasoline prices and foreign currency fluctuations, sales at stores open at least a year increased 8 percent for the company, 9 percent in the United States and 7 percent internationally.

Costco's total November sales rose 7 percent to $9.43 billion, and revenue for its first quarter, which ended Nov. 23, also climbed 7 percent to $26.28 billion.

The company runs 671 warehouses, including 474 in the United States and Puerto Rico.

Shares climbed 81 cents to $143.50 Thursday before markets opened. The stock had climbed about 20 percent so far this year, as of Wednesday's market close.