Monday, October 15, 2012

Exponential Trend Failure of the Day

Click to enlarge.

This failure surprises me a bit, but then again I'm surprised every time I see someone buy a box of cereal or a case of Coca Cola at full price in a grocery store. Money's cheap I guess. There will always be more coming. Sigh.

In any event, that's sure some recovery we're having.

Source Data:
U.S. Census: Monthly & Annual Retail Trade
St. Louis Fed: CPI
St. Louis Fed: Population


Stagflationary Mark said...

If you look closely, you can see a very disturbing 2012 trend in the chart. We're spending 5% per month less (adjusted for seasonality, inflation, and population growth) in warehouse clubs and superstores than we were in January.

Troy said...

yup, I saw that downturn on the end.

wow. that's what cost inflation without wage inflation does for you.

is the % hit a 40 hr paycheck takes with a 20 gallon gas purchase.

Stagflationary Mark said...


Perhaps more Warehouse Clubs need to sell gasoline.

Costco: Investor Relations

From the FY 2011 Annual Report...

We sold nearly $9 billion worth of gasoline in fiscal 2011, a sales increase of 40 percent over last year. This is a very volatile market that requires a lot of finesse to manage successfully, and we are pleased to have maintained strong profitability again this year. An additional advantage of our gasoline operations is their contribution to warehouse sales, as it is another factor in driving increased, in-store shopper frequency.

Troy said...

Gas might contribute to the gross, but I don't see how it helps the net all that much.

Then again Costco sells a dog & coke for $1.50 still so what do I know.

Stagflationary Mark said...


Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST)

Profit Margin (ttm): 1.72%

1. Roughly 10% of their sales were gasoline.
2. At 1.72%, gasoline doesn't have to make much.

Stagflationary Mark said...


Bonus thought.

March 6, 2009
The $1.50 Costco Hot Dog: Hebrew National Out...Kirkland Brand In

The new Kirkland dog is "10 percent heavier and longer than the old," made with "100% beef with only fresh USDA Choice or better cuts" and "without fillers, binder, phosphates, corn syrup, artificial color and artificial flavors".

Though my local Costco still seems to tout their Hebrew Nationals, I don't think I would've noticed even if they made the switch. And if I get 10% for my $1.50, even better. After all, we're Americans. And this is Costco.

Go figure.