Costco’s holiday revenue expected to be better than most

Costco Wholesale Corp., one of Washington state’s largest retailers, is positioned to be among the few companies with the potential to enjoy a positive holiday shopping season, according to findings reported by Bloomberg.

The Issaquah-based super-merchant was among a wide number of other stores typically associated with high holiday sales, including Gap, Best Buy and Toys “R” Us, in a survey that asked 9,000 shoppers how much they intend to spend between now and Christmas and where they plan on spending it. Costco was the only retailer where people intended to spend more, possibly due to a wide range of product offerings that includes home décor and clothing – a one-stop selection that led Costco to sales of over $76 billion in 2010, an increase of 9 percent from 2009.

With shoppers here in Seattle and elsewhere around Puget Sound reportedly planning to spend an average of $824 during the 2011 holiday season, the survey went on to single out their intended purchases, with more people expected to shy away from the pricier electronic items that are typically big sellers between November and January.

Instead, 70 percent of shoppers plan on purchasing clothing and a whopping 92 percent have gift cards on their shopping list, according to Bloomberg.

Across the board, holiday spending is expected to be on the frugal side this year, with consumer confidence falling in October to the lowest point it’s been since March 2009, according to a report published by the Wall Street Journal online.

Consumer confidence is considered significant here in the United States because the related spending reportedly accounts for nearly 70 percent of domestic economic activity. Oddly enough, that confidence can be impacted despite an individual’s personal finances, with people psychologically affected by the “big-picture” that has seen fewer jobs and lower wages in most major metropolitans around the country – Seattle and Dallas being the rare exceptions (see Retail job growth takes a big leap in Seattle).

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