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Costco’s comps level for May, YTD

BY David Salazar
ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco recently shared its May sales results, posting net sales of $9.23 billion, a 3% increase over the $8.98 billion it brought in during the similar period last year. This year May included an extra sales day in the U.S. compared to last year due to the timing of Memorial Day, which the company expects to positively impact net sales and comparable sales for the year by about 2.5% overall and 3.5% in the U.S. 
 
Costco’s comparable sales for the month rose 1% in the U.S., dropped 1% in Canada and dropped 3% internationally, essentially leveling out total company comps for the month posting a 0% change over last year. Excluding the effects of gasoline price deflation and foreign exchange, comps lifted 4% in the United States, 6% in Canada, 3% internationally and 4% for the total company.
 
Costco also shared year-to-date sales for the 39 weeks ended May 29, posting a 2% increase in U.S. comps alongside a 5% and 4% decrease in Canada and international markets, respectively, for a 0% rise over last year. Factoring out gas price deflation and foreign exchange effects, the 39 weeks saw a 5% rise overall, including a 4% rise in U.S. comps, a 9% rise in Canadian comps and a 5% international rise in comps. 
 
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Target emphasizes mobile experience with updated Target.com platform

BY Michael Johnsen
MINNEAPOLIS – Mobile is becoming the device of choice for today’s shoppers, Target noted in a release Thursday, and Target guests over-index for mobile usage. In addition, mobile traffic and sales have been key to driving Target’s digital growth, the retailer stated. 
 
Beginning June 2, no matter the screen size or device — mobile, tablet or desktop — visitors to Target.com will have a more consistent and unified experience, the company announced. 
 
Target previously operated two separate websites: one for desktop and one for mobile. The shift to one site means Target’s desktop experience will, essentially, be the same one that guests have seen on Target’s mobile website. Managing Target.com with one code base will enable the company's digital to make updates faster and more efficiently than ever before.
 
“People rely more than ever on their phones for everything in life, from interactions with friends to scheduling to shopping,” stated Jason Goldberger, Target’s chief digital officer. “We’ve talked for years about being a mobile-first retailer. This move takes us from mobile first to mobile only.”
 
The Target team has been methodically building and testing the new Target.com experience — which is built to adapt to screen sizes from desktop to tablet to mobile — since launching the site last year for mobile and tablet.
 
With the new upgrade, guests can switch more seamlessly between devices — even if they do so mid-shopping spree. In a recent survey, 80% of Target shoppers stated that they had started a task on one device, then switched to a different device to complete the task.
 
The overall digital engagement will be more visual, Target noted, with fewer words and descriptions. 
Last year, Target’s mobile conversion rate shot up almost 90% and is now higher than its desktop rate in 2013 — another clear sign that mobile is at the center of Target's guests lives and that they crave convenience, the retailer noted. 
 
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Walmart pilots same-day delivery through Uber, Lyft and Deliv

BY Michael Johnsen
BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Walmart is piloting delivery through Uber, Lyft and Deliv, Michael  Bender, EVP and COO, Walmart Global eCommerce, shared on Friday morning. "At our annual Shareholders Meeting, our CEO Doug McMillon will announce our newest pilot – a last-mile delivery test through services like Uber, Lyft and Deliv," he noted. "Walmart will start with tests of grocery delivery through Uber and Lyft, which we expect to start within the next two weeks in Denver and one other market."
 
This is in addition to a Sam’s Club pilot that started in March with Deliv involving delivery of general merchandise and grocery for business members in Miami.
 
"We’re thrilled about the possibility of delivering new convenient options to our customers, and about working with some transformative companies in this test," Bender wrote in a blog published Friday. "We’ll start small and let our customers guide us, but testing new things like last-mile delivery allows us to better evaluate the various ways we can best serve our customers how, when and where they need us."
 
For the customer, it's a seamless process. They order online, that order is compiled by a Walmart personal shopper, who in turn contracts with a local delivery driver to take the order directly to a customer's home. Walmart collects between $7 and $10 per delivery, Bender said. 
 
"At Sam’s Club, the process is very similar, with our personal shoppers preparing the orders for business members, and having their order delivered right to their door with Deliv," he noted. "Our members who have used it, love it."
 
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