Pandemic drives up costs for Costco

Sales surged but so did costs at Costco. The warehouse club operator’s quarterly profit missed Wall Street’s targets as the retailer spent more on benefits for employees who worked through the pandemic and sanitized its stores.

Profit margins at American retailers have been squeezed further by pandemic-related charges. They had already been investing heavily to slash delivery times amid the surge in online demand from people ordering from home.

Costco doled out premium pay to workers at the onset of the pandemic outbreak and hiked its minimum wage from March to $16, a dollar more than at Amazon and Target.

Costco, however, performed well on the top line. Revenue rose to handily beat estimates as online sales jumped nearly 76% from a year earlier.

Costco shares fell in early trading Friday, deepening their 15% loss this year.