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August Comps Up at Costco, Target

Both Costco Wholesale Corp. and Target Corp. reported stronger sales for the month of August.

Costco, based in Issaquah, Wash., said sales rose 8% to $7.4 billion for the four weeks ending Aug. 26, with comparable-store sales up 6%, excluding gas. Comps rose 7% in the U.S. and 4% outside the country.

According to the company, food and sundries comps rose in the mid-single-digit range, led by candy, deli, frozen food and liquor, reflecting some inflation; while fresh foods also posted comps in the mid-single digit range, led by service deli and produce, with a slight impact from deflation. Average transaction size grew 1.5%, while traffic frequency rose 4.5%, the company said.

Read more: Target Q2 Earnings Flat, Sales Climb

Minneapolis-based Target said sales for the four weeks ended Aug. 25 were up 4.7% to $5.5 billion, with comps up 4.2%. The company said approximately three-quarters of the comp-store increase was driven by a jump in average transaction size, with comps across all regions experiencing “a healthy increase.”

According to Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer, “We’re pleased with August’s comp increase, which was near the high end of our expected range. Sales were stronger in the second half of the month,” he added, driven by back-to-school shopping. He said Target expects comp increases for September to fall within the low-single digit range.

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