PriceSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ: PSMT), the US based warehouse club retailer that operates stores in Colombia, Central America & the Caribbean, on Monday announced that net merchandise sales in May increased 16.3% to $286.4 million from $246.3 million in May a year earlier. Foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations impacted net merchandise sales negatively by 1.6%, or $3.8 million, versus the same one-month period in the prior year. There were 47 warehouse clubs in operation at the end of May 2021 and 45 warehouse clubs in operation at the end of May 2020.
“Our Membership base has increased by 5.2% and our trailing 12-month renewal rate has increased by 8.9% from the lows in August 2020. Our trailing 12-month renewal rate is higher than its pre-COVID peak and our Membership base is nearly there too. This validates that our business model and rigorous commitment to our Members is valued even in the most challenging of circumstances,” said Sherry S. Bahrambeygui, Chief Executive Officer.
For the five weeks ended May 30, 2021, comparable net merchandise sales for the 45 warehouse clubs open at least 13½ full months increased 12.0% when compared to the same period last year. Foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations impacted comparable net merchandise sales negatively by 1.6%, or $4.4 million, versus the same period in the prior year.
“Now, facing the second year of the pandemic and despite continuing restrictions and civil unrest in certain markets, our total and comparable sales grew in May 2021, 16.3% and 12.0%, respectively, versus May of last year. Our Click & Go service, including curbside pickup and delivery, contributed 4.0% of net merchandise sales and has enabled an alternate and safe channel for attending to our Members’ needs,” added Bahrambeygui.
The 12-month membership renewal rate was 87.6% for the period ended May 31, 2021, an increase from the 81.5% and 80.5% 12-month renewal rate for the periods ended February 28, 2021 and August 31, 2020, respectively.
Fiscal year to date, which includes the nine months ended May 31, 2021, net merchandise sales increased 7.3% to $2,594.3 million from $2,418.8 million for the nine months ended May 31, 2020. Foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations impacted net merchandise sales negatively by 2.7% or $66.3 million versus the same nine-month period in the prior year.
According to Bahrambeygui: “Our team of more than 10,000 associates remains vigilant by keeping our employees and Members safe while providing a compelling shopping experience that includes carefully-curated merchandise from around the world. Our additional services and focus on health and wellness that include optical, our recently-introduced pharmacies and our plan to pilot audiology centers in certain markets should further enhance Member loyalty.”
For the 39-week period ended May 30, 2021, comparable net merchandise sales increased 4.3% compared to the same 39-week period a year ago. Foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations impacted comparable net merchandise sales negatively by 2.7% or $65.0 million versus the same prior year period.
Third Quarter 2021 Earnings Announcement Details:
PriceSmart plans to release third quarter fiscal year 2021 financial results on Thursday, July 8, 2021, after the market closes. PriceSmart management will host a conference call at 12:00 p.m. Eastern time (9:00 a.m. Pacific time) on Friday, July 9, 2021, to discuss the financial results. Individuals interested in participating in the conference call may do so by dialing (855) 209-8211 toll free or (412) 317-5214 for international callers and asking to join the PriceSmart, Inc. call. A digital replay will be available through July 16, 2021, following the conclusion of the call by dialing (877) 344-7529 for domestic callers, or (412) 317-0088 for international callers, and entering replay passcode 10156316.