December 19, 2007, 12:00 AM

Costco predicts another record year for e-commerce

Costco Wholesale Corp. is predicting another record year for e-commerce sales. In fiscal 2008, the company expects web sales to reach more than $1.5 billion, an increase of at least 25% from web sales of $1.2 billion in fiscal 2007.

Costco Wholesale Corp. is predicting another record year for e-commerce sales. In fiscal 2008, the company expects web sales to reach more than $1.5 billion, an increase of at least 25% from web sales of $1.2 billion in fiscal 2007.

“During the first quarter, on top of a 40% or 41% increase for all of 2007 versus all of 2006, Costco.com was up 45%,” Costco chief financial officer Richard Galanti told analysts on the company’s recent earnings call. “We should well exceed $1.5 billion in sales this year, which is better than our plan.”

Costco, No. 21 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, doesn’t break out quarterly web sales, but the company did report first quarter net income of $262 million on sales of $15.5 billion, compared with net income of $237 million on sales of $13.9 billion in Q1 of fiscal 2007.

Electronics and other bigger ticket items can be big sellers on Costco.com, Galanti told analysts. “Clearly electronics dominates, whether it is electronic games or game consoles,” he told analysts. “It’s clearly more heavily skewed to non-foods and some bigger ticket items.”

Earlier this year Costco implemented a number of new site upgrades, including giving members the ability to ship items to multiple addresses in a single order and to schedule preferred arrival dates on many gift items.

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