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Today In Retail: PriceSmart Reports 5.2 Pct Climb In Net Merchandise Sales; Walmart Purchases Ad Technology Platform

In today’s top retail news, PriceSmart, Inc. announced a 5.2 percent rise in net merchandise sales between January 2020 and January 2021, while Walmart is acquiring the technology and assets behind Thunder. Plus, Costco reported its January sales data and stimulus checks have shored up its January same-store sales.

PriceSmart Reports 5.2 Pct Rise In January Net Merchandise Sales

PriceSmart, Inc. reported on Friday (Feb. 5) that net merchandise sales increased by 5.2 percent to reach $267.1 million for the month of January 2021, marking a rise from $254 million in January 2020. “In January, net merchandise sales and comparable net merchandise sales grew despite a surge in COVID cases and increased COVID-related restrictions in some of our markets,” CEO Sherry S. Bahrambeygui said in a release.

Walmart Buys Ad Tech Platform As Rivalry With Amazon Intensifies

Walmart is purchasing the infrastructure and property behind Thunder, which harnesses automation to make online ads. “Thunder’s technology and team will reduce the time between the idea for an ad and the ad going live for suppliers,” Walmart Chief Customer Officer Janey Whiteside said in a release. The news comes on the heels of the retailer’s renaming of its media business to Walmart Connect from Walmart Media Group.

Costco Racks Up Stimulus Spend; Research Shows High-Income Consumers Will Save

Costco reported its January sales data and stimulus checks have strengthened its January same-store sales. Worldwide, comparable sales were up 15.9 percent year-on-year in January and led by U.S. comparable stores expansion of 16.4 percent and an online shopping explosion of 105.4 percent. And while, Costco noted that spend was largely in necessary goods, it did begin to experience some recovery in discretionary spending.

Whole Paycheck: Walmart And Amazon Have A Food Fight

New research from PYMNTS into seven important retail areas in which Amazon and Walmart compete shows that the digital giant is closing on its competitor’s lead in auto parts, among the last segments where Walmart still has a lead — other than food. The auto parts market share spread between Amazon and Walmart has slipped to only 4.5 percent, according to the report.

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